Monday 1 March 2003, Jakarta AFTA (ASEAN Free Trade Area) agreement is an effort by the 10 ASEAN member countries to facilitate the free flow of goods within the ASEAN region by reducing tariffs on intra-ASEAN trade to 0 – 5%, with the main objective of increasing the ASEAN countries’ competitiveness.
The role of ICT is in deed important in supporting the objective set by AFTA. ICT has influenced the entire spectrum of economic and social life. In order to derive optimum benefits it is therefore necessary to identify the strategic role of ICT in the AFTA era.
The seminar will invite Asia Pacific Experts on ICT to cover 4 interesting ICT topics and will discuss how each of the topics can play a strategic role in the AFTA era:
E-commerce: ICT has revolutionized all facets of business activities. Companies must move rapidly to incorporate relevant ICT aspects into its activities in order to avoid being marginalized by competitors in the market place.
E-Learning: ICT has introduced new ways of learning that were not possible in the past. Educational institutions have pivotal role to play in increasing the output of high quality graduates required by the industry in order to stay competitive.
E-governance: ICT has made it possible for the policy-makers to deliver more effective and efficient services to the public in a more transparent way. Through the use of ICT, the policy-makers are expected to rapidly introduce policy and regulatory framework that is conducive to the business sectors which in turn will promote the region’s competitiveness.
Connectivity: The implementation of ICT will not be possible without an appropriate connectivity. Good quality communication services at affordable costs must be available to support ICT activities. For remote areas, wireless connectivity could be the answer. To encourage connectivity, governments must eventually open its telecommunication sectors and allow free competition.