Global forum reviews digital age challenges
Manama, June 4, 2014
High-level discussions on the opportunities and challenges of tomorrow's increasingly interconnected digital environment started yesterday in the kingdom.
Hosted by the government under the patronage of His Royal Highness Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU)'s Global Symposium for Regulators is being held at the Gulf Hotel.
More than 650 international delegates from the world's information and communication technology (ICT) regulatory authorities have gathered at the symposium which is being hosted by the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) as a partner of the ITU, reported the Gulf Daily News, our sister publication.
Deputised by the Premier, Deputy Prime Minister Shaikh Ali bin Khalifa Al Khalifa presided over the opening.
Minister of State for Telecommunications affairs Shaikh Fawaz bin Mohamed bin Khalifa Al Khalifa and ITU secretary-general Dr Hamadoun Toure delivered keynote addresses.
"The highest standards of telecommunications regulation are absolutely imperative to allow service providers to bring their products to market with the minimum of fuss," Shaikh Fawaz said.
"The market must be given the appropriate amount of nurture and direction to ensure that it thrives," he added.
Dr Toure said the digital ecosystem has redrawn the business boundaries and paved the way for a wealth of fresh and innovative ideas.
TRA chairman Dr Mohammed Ahmed Al Amer is the chairman of the symposium.
"We are gathered here to examine ways of ensuring that the full array of benefits of the digital world is brought to all citizens in an informed, responsive and safe manner," Dr Al Amer said.
"This can only be achieved through effective and smart regulation targeted at empowering consumers, redefining responsibilities, and creating the conditions for a data-driven economy to flourish," he added.
The symposium's opening debate, "Redefining responsibilities in a data-driven digital world", featured top-name speakers including Dr Al Amer, Samena Telecommunications Council chief executive Bocar Ba, Office of Electronic Communications of Poland president Magdalena Gaj, Alcatel-Lucent Global Government Sector president Gabrielle Gauthey and Gabon's Autorite de Regulation des Communications Electroniques et des Postes president Lin Mombo.
The debate was moderated by ITU's Telecommunication Development Bureau director Brahima Sanou.
GSR-14 continues until tomorrow, culminating in a series of regulatory best practice guidelines.
Outputs from the meeting will also be incorporated into ITU's annual regulatory report, "Trends in Telecommunication Reform."-TradeArabia News Service