Open Tech Today - Top Stories

Thursday, September 21, 2006

ASEAN Pushes a Few Open ICT Buttons

The IT Ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) issued a joint Brunei Action Plan for enhancing the ICT competitiveness of their economies and societies. When it comes to technology, ASEAN is making "open" its theme.

The Action Plan focuses on capacity building -- not surprising since most ASEAN members are developing countries keen to strengthen their knowledge and skill base. What may surprise some people are the things that this ICT capacity building is focused upon, such as free/open source software, open standards and the OpenDocument Format (ODF).

ASEAN directly links the realization economic and social benefits with ICT by specifically committing to "exploring open standards and open source technologies to increase ICT access and interoperability." ASEAN is clearly walking an open ICT path toward economic and social development.

And among the list of priority projects ASEAN offers: a training workshop on OpenDocument Format (ODF) and Free/Libre Open Source Software (FLOSS) Distribution Kiosks.

If open is as open does, then we should expect to see more open ICT efforts emerging from the ASEAN region over the coming years.