JIS News

Minister without Portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for Information and Telecommunications, Hon. Daryl Vaz, has emphasised that a “robust and dependable telecoms infrastructure is a basic prerequisite for the success of local businesses and for attracting investments.”
He added that this infrastructure is also essential for surviving the rough economic times and emerging stronger than before.
Mr. Vaz, who has responsibility for Information and Telecommunications, was speaking at the opening of the Caribbean’s first Regional International Telecommunication Society (ITS) Conference, at the Rose Hall Resort and Spa in Montego Bay, St. James, on June 23.
The Minister argued that advances in telecommunications, information technology and the internet, have greatly transformed the global business environment, and that the bases of the world’s economic life and business now rest upon knowledge.
“So, just as the industrial revolution saw a shift from man to machine, and brought about great changes in agriculture, manufacturing, mining and transportation, and just as that experience had a profound influence on socio-economic and cultural conditions in countries throughout the world, today’s global revolution involves a shift to the mind. Content is king and the multiple yet converging platforms for its delivery, the kingdom,” he said.
Describing the Caribbean region as a location in the satellite footprint of one of the world’s most influential economies and cultures, the Minister emphasised that it is imperative that the people and countries of the region do things right, seize all opportunities and share the outcomes of their successes, trials, errors and best practices. He said that such an approach would lay the foundation for research and analysis, which could inform policy recommendations and business decisions.
“It is my view that rather than attempting to navigate difficulties individually, a comprehensive and harmonised regional approach to issues such as digitalisation and spectrum reform is necessary,” he said.
Mr. Vaz argued that the common benchmarks and agendas could be devised to assist in regional approaches to regulation within the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector.
The four-day conference, which is hosted jointly by the University of the West Indies, Mona School of Business and the ITS, is being held under the theme: ‘Innovation, Demand and Competitiveness in Telecommunications: Implications for the Caribbean Region and Beyond’.
Participants will seek to explore issues such as the role of ICT providers, innovations and regional developments, Caribbean ICT issues and policies, and ICT and economic growth.

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