A Meeting of APEC Ministers responsible for Telecommunications and Information Industry was convened in Seoul on 29-30 May, 1995. Delegates from Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, the People's Republic of China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, the Republic of the Philippines, Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Thailand and the United States of America participated in the Meeting. The Executive Director of the APEC Secretariat was present at the Meeting. The Pacific Economic Cooperation Council (PECC) attended as an observer. The Meeting was an initiative proposed by H.E. President Kim Young Sam of the Republic of Korea and agreed at the APEC Economic Leaders Meeting in Bogor, Indonesia in November 1994.
The President of the Republic of Korea, H.E. President Kim Young Sam, welcomed Ministers to the APEC Ministerial Meeting on Telecommunications and Information Industry. President Kim Young Sam noted the advent of the Pacific Century and the crucial importance of telecommunications and information industry in the economic development of APEC member economies. Recognizing the critical role of telecommunications and information infrastructures in achieving the goal of liberalising trade and investment by industrial economies by no later than the year 2010, and developing economies by no later than the year 2020, as agreed in the Bogor APEC Economic Leaders' Declaration of Common Resolve, President Kim Young Sam urged the Ministers to take a full responsibility in advancing an Asia Pacific Information Infrastructure (APII) initiative and establish the APII.
The Meeting was chaired by Dr. Kyong Sang-Hyon, Minister of Information and Communication, the Republic of Korea.
Ministers discussed the development of the APII and the APEC Economic Leaders' Declaration of Common Resolve. In response to a growing necessity to enhance an APEC-wide information infrastructure, Ministers adopted the Seoul Declaration for the Asia Pacific Information Infrastructure. Ministers expressed the view that the Declaration constitutes a significant step forward for the development of the APII and towards the realisation of the 21st century information society. The Declaration sets out the five objectives and ten core principles of the APII. The Declaration is a resolve to strengthen cooperation at every level for the APII in an effective and balanced manner for regional and global prosperity.
Ministers agreed to endeavour to make the telecommunications and information sector a "model" sector in achieving the goals set by the APEC Economic Leaders at Bogor - strengthening the open multilateral trading system, enhancing trade and investment liberalisation and facilitation in the Asia Pacific, intensifying Asia Pacific development cooperation and improving the information infrastructure.
Ministers said that they would cooperate in promoting the development of member economies' domestic information infrastructure, the APII and the APEC Economic Leaders objectives in the following areas:
A. Technology:
  • Technical cooperation, such as joint research, and technology transfer
  • Promotion of international standards
B. Telecommunications Network:
  • Modernization of telecommunications infrastructure
  • Development of domestic and global markets for networks, services and application
  • Pilot projects on administrative information network
  • Collaborative pilot projects
  • Promotion of interconnectivity and interoperability
C. Content/Information and Application:
  • Promotion of EDI
  • Joint development of database
  • Test-bed interconnection and information sharing
  • Social and societal implications of the information society
  • Initiatives to make government public information more widely available via electronic means
D. Human Resources Development:
  • Development of training and educational program
  • Exchange of human resources
  • E. Policy and Regulation:
  • Policy dialogues on the information infrastructure between developed and developing member economies
  • Policy and regulatory measures to further liberalization
  • Removal of technical and administrative barriers to market access
  • Measures aimed at promoting small and medium scale enterprises
ACTION PLAN
Ministers noted that the Action Plan is an important contribution to the Action Agenda to be considered at the APEC Economic Leaders Meeting to be held in Osaka, Japan in November 1995.
Ministers noted that the Action Plan is an important contribution to the Action Agenda to be considered at the APEC Economic Leaders Meeting to be held in Osaka, Japan in November 1995.
1. Ministers direct the APEC Telecommunications Working Group to develop plans according to the ten APII principles to improve the information infrastructure with the aim of facilitating effective cooperation, free trade and investment and sustainable development of the region.
2. Ministers direct the APEC Telecommunications Working Group to develop and implement plans for the telecommunications information sector to achieve the Bogor objectives of trade and investment liberalization, trade and investment facilitation and development cooperation, and the principles agreed by Ministers by
firstly, defining the commitments necessary to achieve free and open trade and investment in this sector by the 2010/2020 Bogor timeframe;
coordinating the steps and milestones with target dates defined by each economy; and
identifying areas where collective commitments can be made by consensus.
3. Ministers direct the APEC Telecommunications Working Group to develop human resource capabilities to improve strategic planning and analysis of APII implementation including technology evaluation, demand forecasting and regulatory reform for APII.
4. To intensify cooperation and reduce gaps between developed and developing economies within the region, Ministers
endorse the ongoing work of the Telecommunications Working Group on human resources development, and
call upon the Telecommunications Working Group to consider further proposals to develop cooperation through appropriate mechanisms, such as
holding fora/seminars in, for example, the areas of information exchange, human resource development, and
encouraging the support of international financial institutions for business/private sector participation and investment in the development of information infrastructure in member economies.
5. Ministers endorse the work to date and request the APEC Telecommunications Working Group to expedite its work on the following matters:
  • Conformance with the APEC guidelines for Trade in International Value-Added Network Services (IVANS)
  • Conformance with the APEC Guidelines for Harmonization of Equipment Certification
  • Establishment of, and conformance with, a framework for the development of Mutual Recognition Arrangements on conformance assessment
6. Ministers request the APEC Telecommunications Working Group to examine ways to increase cooperation between APEC and existing international institutions and programs, so as to actively promote the APII and reduce duplications of efforts, in areas including standards and existing technology cooperation projects.
Such cooperative activities could take place with
  1. international financial institutions such as the Asian Development Bank, the World Bank, and the InterAmerican Development Bank, in regard to technology projects,
  2. APT, ITU, OECD, WTO and G7 joint pilot projects, such as cooperation on test-bed interconnection, information sharing, broadband trials, health and education projects, and
  3. Telecommunications information sharing project in Telecommunications Working Group
7. Ministers direct the APEC Telecommunications Working Group to vigorously pursue its work in identifying APII pilot and cooperative projects.
Ministers agreed to hold a second Ministerial Meeting on Telecommunications and Information Industry to review progress in the implementation of the Action Plan. Ministers welcomed the offer by Australia to host the Second APEC Ministerial Meeting on Telecommunications and Information Industry in Australia.