|Issue:||Asia-Pacific III 2008|
|Topic:||Internet usage and services|
|Author:||Dr Hamadoun Touré|
|Organisation:||International Telecommunication Union (ITU)|
Dr Hamadoun Touré is the Secretary-General of the International Telecommunication Union. As Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Development Bureau from 1999 until 2006, he played a significant role in the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), held in Geneva in 2003 and Tunis in 2005, by launching numerous projects based on partnership building with international organizations, governments, civil society and the private sector. Earlier, Dr Touré served as Africa’s Regional General Manager for ICO Global Communications, as INTELSAT’s Director for the Africa Region and as its Group Director for Africa and the Middle East. Dr Touré is committed to make ITU an innovative, forward-looking organization adapted to meeting the challenges created by the new ICT environment. He is proficient in three official languages of the Union: English, French and Russian. Dr Hamadoun Touré holds a Master’s Degree in Electrical Engineering from the Technical Institute of Electronics and Telecommunications of Leningrad and a PhD from the University of Electronics, Telecommunications and Informatics of Moscow.
ITU TELECOM ASIA 2008, a venture of the International Telecommunication Union to promote ICT development in the region, comes to the land of smiles this year in Bangkok, Thailand from 2-5 September. This major ICT showcase comprises an exhibition featuring the latest technologies and innovations as well as an extensive forum, which will explore the key technologies, policies and applications that are driving Asia’s ICT sector. It is also a unique networking platform for both industry and policy-makers. Asia spans some of the world’s most sophisticated telecommunications and ICT markets with the highest levels of ICT penetration. Economies such as the Republic of Korea, with over 30 per cent broadband penetration in 2007, and Hong Kong, China with 26 per cent, are among the world’s broadband leaders. The most populous region of the world, Asia also encompasses some of the world’s largest and fastest-growing markets, such as China and India, where mobile subscribers alone account for some 550 million and 234 million respectively. Bangkok is a major hub of the ICT industry in Southeast Asia. It is an ideal vantage point to observe the full reach of Asia’s booming ICT industry, new unfolding trends and, as well, the wealth of opportunities that this diverse and exciting region has to offer. A host of new technologies, such as WiMAX or next-generation mobile, are gaining ground across the region, and these have the potential to reach out to huge numbers of new users. The combination of all these factors makes it a truly awe-inspiring region. ITU TELECOM ASIA 2008 offers a high-level platform for major announcements. It will also be the ideal opportunity for the top names in ICT to come together to discover all that Asia’s ICT sector has to offer, examining the latest cutting-edge technologies that are shaping the ICT industry and debating some of the key trends and policies that will shape its future. ASIA 2008 will bring together CEOs, ministers, regulators and policy-makers from across this diverse region. The Forum will also explore the wealth of new opportunities for business partnerships, trade and investment that are flourishing across the region, and take an in-depth look at the types of policies and strategies that have worked. Although Asia’s markets are flourishing, there is still a pressing need to look at the challenges of our times: rising food prices, global warming and climate change, the recent natural disasters that have wrought havoc in many parts of the region, and explore the possible solutions and opportunities that ICTs have to offer. In an increasingly networked society, we also have to instil confidence and security in the use of cyberspace, and we have to ensure that people everywhere are connected to the benefits that ICT have to offer. ITU TELECOM ASIA 2008 will be the key regional ICT event in 2008 to examine these multidimensional issues. I look forward to welcoming you at the IMPACT Centre in Bangkok. Sawasdee Khap! Dr Hamadoun Touré Secretary-General International Telecommunication Union