Euro-Southeast Asia 2006 Co-operation Forum on ICT

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Back in July 2003, European Commission (EC) initiated a communication  programme with South East Asian nations on ‘New Partnership with South East
Asia’. The programme was envisaged as a strategic move to establish active dialogue and business relations between the two regions for development of the emerging information society and knowledge  economy. Under the aegis of this programme, European Commission for Information  Society and Media and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) jointly organised  the  uro-Southeast Asia 2006 Cooperation  Forum on Information and Communication Technologies  (EUSEA 2006) conference from 19th- 20th June 2006, at the luxurious Shangri-La Hotel in Singapore. With  more than 500 participants coming from various parts of Europe and  Southeast Asian nations, the event provided a perfect setting for people  to learn new initiatives, understand each other’s interest, share  knowledge and mobilize partnerships. Opening the main conference, Viviane Reding, European Commissioner for   Information Society and Media emphasized the crucial need of a  serious collaborative platform for encouraging governments, industry  and research institutions of EU nations and Southeast Asian (SEA)  nations to forge advanced ICT research, technology development  and joint projects deployment for ushering into the modern information society and knowledge economy. In  her speech, Mrs. Reding urged SEA nations to open up their economies,  under the rationale of the huge Conference Report  intellectual and  economic benefits that it brings in. She assured of best  possible  cooperation and  support from her Commission in  making such  initiatives to be   successful. Some of the other speakers of the opening session of the conference were – His Excellency Ong   eng  Yong, ASEAN Secretary-General, Mr. Shankar Iyer, President, European  Chamber of Commerce, Singapore and Senior Minister of State, Ministry of  Information, Communication & Arts, Singapore, Dr. Balaji Sidavasen. All of  them highly appreciated the initiative of EU and ASEAN in creating a  collaborative platform for knowledge  sharing and business partnership. The keynote session that followed brought together a power panel of  eminent scientists, researchers and industry leaders from Europe and  Southeast Asia, who reflected on key ICT initiatives, interventions and  innovations undertaken by their respective agency/enterprise. Power  packed presentations of speakers from the ICT industry, (namely Tim Cowen of British Telecom and Jean-  Claude Marquet of ST Microelectronics) was seamlessly  placed with insightful  deliberations of  David West, Project Director, DANTE  nd Dr. Thaweesak Koanantakool, Director of National Electronics and  Computer Technology,   hailand.  Each with their unique set of knowledge and expertise brought  forth whatever is latest and cuttingedge in their own domain.  The remaining one and half days of  the conference had 36 parallel  sessions, comprising 24 technical sessions, 6 training workshops and 6 networking sessions. The technical  sessions focused on a variety of  issues relating to technology, applications,  egulatory and policy  framework, research etc. Training sessions of the event conducted by experts from the European Commission proved to be  very helpful and informative for those looking for business collaborations  and research funding for advanced R&D in the field of information  systems, communications and technology development.  The networking sessions titled – ‘Get in Touch’, provided an ideal setting  for people to know each other and about their initiatives in an informal, yet, in a facilitated environment. The  sessions were designed with an objective to create opportunity for general participants to deliver brief presentations and overview of the  technology, application or research they are working on and involve the  audience in an open discussion on technological, commercial and social  feasibility of their products and solutions.

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