Bhutan seeks solution to harness full, potential of ICT
“Ministers gathered here in Budapest has a very important role to play in shaping common vision and seek solution on how to harness the full potential of ICT to achieve higher development goals, which in Bhutan is referred to as increasing the wellbeing of people and creating conditions whereby people can pursue happiness. This statement was made by the Information and Communication Minister, DN Dhungyel at the International Telecommunications Union ( ITU) in Budapest Hungary on October 12.
Speaking at the event, the minister echoed things on innovative ICT solutions, which can be realized only through promotion of digital entrepreneurship”. He also stated that “continued collaboration and support from other countries is very critical for small developing countries like Bhutan, which is constraint with high internet cost and reliability of connectivity because of geographical positions”.
The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) opened in Budapest for ITU Telecom World 2015, the global ICT innovation event for SMEs, corporates and governments. The event kicked off with a spectacular Opening Ceremony, in the presence of H.E Viktor Orbán, Prime Minister of Hungary, ITU Secretary-General, Houlin Zhao, and a host of other distinguished high-level participants spanning government, industry and representatives of many global SMEs and start-ups.
The event comprised over 230 exhibitors, sponsors and partners from over 40 countries, with the Forum and Leadership Summit including 200 speakers and 44 panel sessions, workshops and sponsored sessions. Over 250 leaders – split evenly between the public and private sectors – from 88 countries across the globe which included the Ministers. The event is a Young Innovators Competition.
Launching the ceremony and acknowledging the critical role which SMEs and start-ups play within the ICT ecosystem and how this forms the cornerstone of a new and exciting direction for ITU and ITU Telecom, ITU Secretary General, Mr. Zhao stressed his personal commitment “to ensure implementation of this new focus in response to the needs of the countries and industry” Expanding on this vision he added “We wish to reform ITU Telecom to create such an international platform where we can share knowledge, exchange ideas, best practice, and inspiration, and facilitate networking and partnerships with SMEs.”
Addressing a packed auditorium, Hungary’s Prime Minister H.E Viktor Orbán spoke of past and present Hungarian innovators, and outlined plans for Digital Hungary, noting that “Hungary can be as proud of its role in the ICT sector today as it was in the past. We have grounds to be proud of the fact that the digital economy of Hungary is one of the fastest developing in the EU.”
Speaking via video message, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon encouraged government and technology industry leaders gathered in Budapest to “foster greater innovation and entrepreneurship in the ICT sector, especially among small and medium sized business.” He urged participants to “consider what more you can do to ensure universal connectivity, close the digital divide, open doors to knowledge and ensure the full participation of women and girls in the ever growing digital economy in support of the 2030 agenda for sustainable development.”
The Opening Ceremony marked the start of an action-packed few days of high-level debate, dialogue between longestablished business, SMEs and governments, showcasing and networking.
The event also comprised of Exhibition for digital solutions from emerging and developed markets, showcasing the smartest ideas and entrepreneurial spirit of start-ups from countries, regions and top industry names from across the world. It also includes a host of key networking opportunities, including activities enabling delegates to engage on a B2B or B2G level, such as B2G and B2B Dialogues & Lunches bringing together government, industry and SME
On 13 October 2015 – The new Emerge Partnership was launched, bringing together a core group of stakeholders to provide thought-leadership and best-practice advice to help inform government policy-making.
Emerge Partners will be actively engaged in supporting innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystems, and include representatives from the United Nations and other international organizations, the ICT industry, incubator/accelerator managers as well as development/innovation practitioners.
Business to government (B2G) dialogues took centre-stage at ITU Telecom World 2015, where the Emerge Partnership was launched as a means to facilitate public-private collaboration. Large multinationals, start-ups and SMEs outlined key priorities and requirements for government policy-makers to provide a vital enabling environment for innovation and private enterprise.
The Minister for Information & Communications was also invited to provide insight into Bhutan’s ICT SMEs and share some of the lessons, which was highly appreciated.
The Ministerial Round Table issued the ‘Budapest Call for Action’ reaffirming the political will to accelerate innovation for social impact in line with the Connect 2020 Agenda adopted at the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference in November 2014. The ‘Budapest Call for Action’ emphasized the importance of fostering innovation entrepreneurship and welcomed the establishment of the Emerge Partnership. The document highlighted the role of ICT-based innovation in addressing key socio-economic and environmental sustainability challenges, such as those addressed by the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and other national and regional frameworks. It also invited all stakeholders to implement innovative solutions, technologies and partnerships aimed at bridging the digital divide and ensuring global connectivity for all.