Kumpol Sontanarat, CIO of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Thailand shared with FutureGov on how Asean Economic Community (AEC) would bring changes to the ICT industry in the region.
Beside his prominent role as CIO of Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) which ensures orderly capital market and investor protection with latest technology, Kumpol Sontanarat is an active ICT leader with vision for regional modernisation.
He and his CIO peers set up a public private partnership called ‘CIO16’ to help drive ICT policy and collaborate efforts towards the innovative approach especially for the integration of ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) in 2015, a borderless economic community among ten member countries. Together with Ministry of Information and Communication Technology, they organised the 1st ASEAN CIO Forum beginning today in Bangkok. The forum will discuss about how the AEC will bring significant changes and developments to the region.
“ASEAN countries are considered a new economic growth especially in the fast-growing ICT industry as we are to be the world’s new production hub for ICT,” Sontanarat shared with FutureGov the ASEAN ICT masterplan.
According to him, regional ICT will have to be improved to facilitate many developments arising from the integration in all area: infrastructure, software, and hardware.
“We need to standardise our region’s production, making it a unique service with world class accreditation and certification, and create ASEAN ICT human capital,” he added.
The SEC plays an important part in the Asean ICT plan to drive towards the capital market integration under the concept of ‘ASEAN linkage’.
“Investors across the ten members can invest at each other capital market directly, we need to prepare secured electronic system that enables electronic trade across different capital markets,” Sontanarat explained about the project ASEAN Linkage.
Another important change is the move forwards ‘One Price Policy’ that will add strength to the the member countries to negotiate with global firms.
“For example, if a giant firm like Microsoft wants to quote a price, it would need to base the price on our single price policy for the entire community although there might be some exception in some cases,” he said.
The development of Green ICT is also one of the main issue in the Asean ICT Masterplan, Sontanarat revealed and added that the entire ICT process from procurement, implementation, and operation need to go green, and there should be agreement set on how to manage the electronic garbages.
“ASEAN Green ICT will follow the agreement of the same issue among Asia Pacific (APAC) countries,” Sontanarat said.
In term of preparedness for the economic integration, Sontanarat admitted that the technology gap among the members countries is wide; “Thailand’s weakness is broadband coverage, and the government is pushing forward broadband expansion as its first priority now.” He continued that each country needs to prepare different things prior to 2015 not just network coverage, but also the integration of ICT system, and more importantly ICT human resource.
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