AMRI VI: knowledge economy key to ASEAN’s growth

The knowledge economy has a crucial part to play in fostering economic development in the 10 ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) countries and in creating peace and stability in the region, according to Vietnam’s deputy prime minister Nguyen Manh Cam.

Giving a keynote address to the sixth conference of ASEAN Ministers Responsible for Information (AMRI VI), last Thursday, Cam said ASEAN is determined to build and develop an information network that enables member countries to master knowledge, scientific and technological achievements, exchange and share knowledge and expertise.

“Information is an invaluable resource of the knowledge-based economy and an indispensable condition of development,” Cam said in a transcript of the keynote. “Information cooperation and promotion of IT mean fostering regional solidarity and accelerating cooperation for the mutual benefit of each country and the whole region.”

Cam said that delegates to AMRI VI will consider Internet communication and information exchange between ASEAN countries, discuss and approve important projects to enhance the image of ASEAN through communication networks, and encourage the role of ASEAN as an increasingly influential regional grouping in the Asia-Pacific region and the world.

Cam’s words were echoed in the United States, last Thursday, where Carly Fiorina, Hewlett-Packard Co.’s (HP) chairwoman, president and CEO, said that the Internet and other information technologies hold the keys to sustainable economic growth. Fiorina was announcing an HP plan to target US$1 billion of its products, along with partner products and services, to be sold, leased or donated through special programs in developing countries.

The AMRI VI conference, being held in Hanoi, ends Friday.

The 10 countries in ASEAN are Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.