In­dia help­ing ASEAN de­velop dig­i­tal con­nec­tiv­ity

The Myanmar Times - - Asean Focus -

SEEK­ING to deepen its ties with ASEAN, In­dia is cur­rently work­ing on projects in the re­gion to help de­velop the group’s dig­i­tal con­nec­tiv­ity in­fra­struc­ture.

In­dia, which has an­nounced a credit line of US$1 bil­lion (K1.37 tril­lion) to pro­mote projects that sup­port phys­i­cal and dig­i­tal con­nec­tiv­ity be­tween In­dia and ASEAN’s 10 mem­ber coun­tries, has also pro­posed a “Work Plan 2018” to fur­ther boost dig­i­tal co­op­er­a­tion with the group, ac­cord­ing to In­dia’s Tele­com Equip­ment and Ser­vices Ex­port Pro­mo­tion Coun­cil, known as TEPC.

“For in­creas­ing broad­band pen­e­tra­tion, projects have been un­der­taken in Cam­bo­dia, Laos, Myan­mar and Viet­nam us­ing In­dia’s cost-ef­fec­tive Gi­ga­bit Pas­sive Op­ti­cal Net­work tech­nol­ogy,” said Rakesh Ku­mar Bhat­na­gar, di­rec­tor gen­eral of TEPC. “In­dia is also set­ting up the Cen­tre of Ex­cel­lence for Soft­ware De­vel­op­ment and Train­ing in some of the ASEAN coun­tries.”

Ac­cord­ing to Bhat­na­gar, In­dia re­cently pro­posed the In­dia-ASEAN ICT (in­for­ma­tion and com­mu­ni­ca­tion tech­nol­ogy) Work Plan 2018, which in­cludes fu­ture projects in ca­pac­ity-build­ing and train­ing in tele­com/ICT and reg­u­la­tion, and es­tab­lish­ing cen­tres of cy­ber­se­cu­rity and high-per­for­mance com­put­ing labs, among oth­ers.

In a pre­sen­ta­tion made dur­ing the ASEAN-In­dia Con­nec­tiv­ity Sum­mit 2017 in New Delhi on Mon­day, TEPC said ASEAN coun­tries such as Laos, Viet­nam and Myan­mar have sought In­dia’s co­op­er­a­tion in ICT, cy­ber­se­cu­rity, e-gov­er­nance, big data and cloud com­put­ing cen­tre so­lu­tions.

Laos, where a TEPC team had paid an of­fi­cial visit, has made a re­quest for projects un­der the credit line in the ar­eas of telecom­mu­ni­ca­tion and an in­ter­net cen­tre, de­vel­op­ment of a com­puter emer­gency re­sponse cen­tre and net­work se­cu­rity, ac­cord­ing to TEPC’s pre­sen­ta­tion doc­u­ment.

“We are seek­ing In­dia’s co­op­er­a­tion to set up a cen­tre of ex­cel­lence in soft­ware de­vel­op­ment and train­ing ...and also work­ing with In­dia on an­other dig­i­tal project,” Thav­isak Man­od­han, di­rec­tor gen­eral of the De­part­ment of In­for­ma­tion and Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Tech­nol­ogy at the Lao­tian Min­istry of Post and Telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions, said at the sum­mit.

Mean­while, Myan­mar formed a dig­i­tal econ­omy de­vel­op­ment com­mit­tee this year and is also “work­ing closely with In­dia in the field of dig­i­tal con­nec­tiv­ity,” Soe Thein, di­rec­tor gen­eral of the De­part­ment of Posts and Telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions at Myan­mar’s Min­istry of Trans­port and Com­mu­ni­ca­tions, told the sum­mit.

In­dia of­fered the $1 bil­lion credit line dur­ing the 13th ASEAN-In­dia Sum­mit in Kuala Lumpur in Novem­ber 2015, and later cir­cu­lated a set of project pro­pos­als to ASEAN coun­tries in 2016, in­clud­ing the es­tab­lish­ment of a re­gional high­ca­pac­ity op­ti­cal fi­bre net­work, a na­tional ru­ral broad­band net­work, dig­i­tal vil­lages in ru­ral and re­mote ar­eas, and ca­pac­ity-build­ing pro­grams.

ASEAN is In­dia’s fourth-largest trad­ing part­ner, ac­count­ing for 10 per­cent of the coun­try’s to­tal trade. Bi­lat­eral trade with ASEAN coun­tries, which was $2 bil­lion in 1992, grew to $70 bil­lion in 2016-17.

– NNA/Ky­odo

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