Policy reform a must to subsidise ICT, experts say at BIMSTEC talk
Staff Correspondent bdnews24.com
Published: 2017-03-06 23:44:59.0 BdST Updated: 2017-03-07 00:26:23.0 BdST
Simplifying government policies would help develop the Asia-Pacific Information Superhighway, speakers have suggested at a roundtable discussion of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC).
Abu Saeed Khan, a researcher of "Asia-Pacific Information Superhighway", stressed coordination among government policies across Asia.
"Government reforms could meet up 40 percent of Asia's infrastructural deficiency, the private sector will need to do the rest," said the senior policy fellow of LIRNEasia, an ICT policy and regulation think tank active in the Asia Pacific region.
Saeed presented a paper "Rewriting the rule book of regional connectivity" at the talk held at BIMSTEC Secretariat in Gulshan on Monday.
He stressed expanding fibre optic network on the Asian Highway and Trans-Asian Railway route to curb the expense of building an internet infrastructure.
Saeed said that “Internet connectivity in the US is at its peak while the situation in Europe is also satisfactory.”
“But, unfortunately, there is no cross-border connectivity in Asia where 60% people of the world are living. They are entirely relying on submarine cable,” he lamented.
“I do not deny the importance of submarine cable. But we have to keep in mind that this technology is expensive.”
The Lancashire fellow stressed the expansion of the Asia-Pacific super highway. “With this Europe and Asia will come closer. This will be the longest optic fibre route.”
“With the installation of optical fibre route along Asian highway, 32 countries can be connected. They will equally share the expenses and enjoy the benefit.”
“For India, Cox’s Bazar is an important gateway after Chennai and Mumbai. They want to take the internet to north-eastern states.”
He said that the regional cooperation concept had been changed in the 21st century, so the BIMSTEC countries and other developing nations in Asia should bring in changes in their connectivity policy.
Citing examples of transpacific railways and super train in China, Sayeed said that “you can see how it saves time and reduces complexity in communication.”
Saeed also said that the train service from China to Madrid and London is an ‘economic bridge’ between Europe and Asia.
“Commerce and business are of importance in present day world. People are least bothered about politics and diplomacy,” he said highlighting the Asia-Europe connectivity.
In reply to a question, he stated that “the Asian highway was built when the cold war at its peak. Despite political differences between Japan, China and Turkey, they agreed on building the highway. More than 90 percent of the road is now in use.”
BIMSTEC Secretary General Sumith Nakandala said that “We have to see the issue of connectivity with an open mind. Though we are now connected there are many obstacles in this connectivity. We have to remove those barriers.”
Canadian High Commissioner Benoit-Pierre Laramee, Thai Ambassador Panpimon Suwannapongse, Sri Lankan High Commissioner Yasoja Gunasekera, Bhutanese Ambassador Sonam Tobden Rabgye and Nepal Embassy Chargé d'affaires Dhan Bahadur Oli, among others, were present at the round table.
Bangladesh Enterprise Institute President and CEO Farooq Sobhan also attended the programme organised in association with bdnews24.com.
Any unauthorised use or reproduction of bdnews24.com content for commercial purposes is strictly prohibited and constitutes copyright infringement liable to legal action.
- Supreme Court to hear appeal of tannery relocation fine on Mar 30
- FBCCI election: Appeal hearing against court stay on Thursday
- Stocks stumble on US policy woes; Trumpflation trades suffer
- OPEC, non-OPEC oil producers meet in Kuwait over output-cut compliance
- Bull market not dead as tax reform takes spotlight
- FBCCI president challenges HC order halting elections
- Trump tantrum looms on Wall Street if healthcare effort stalls
- High Court halts FBCCI elections for two months
- Asian stocks drop as fresh Trump jitters jolt risk sentiment
- Asian shares at 21-month high, dollar soft on less hawkish Fed
- Four suspects dead inside Sylhet's terror den, army to continue operation
- Army releases videos of assault on Sylhet militant hideout
- Sex in Thai city frustrates junta
- Indian visa rules for Bangladeshis relaxed further
- Burst of gunfire heard as Sylhet militant hideout siege enters fourth day
- Two killed, more ‘well-trained’ militants inside, says army in Sylhet anti-terror operation
- Indian borderguards step up vigil on Sylhet's border with Northeast India
- Shibbari siege must end sooner to deny militants a psychological victory
- Police believe man killed in blast near airport is 'missing' Mirpur youth Ayad
- Commandos rescue trapped residents from Sylhet 'militant den'