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BSEC WORKING GROUP ON
INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES
ACTION PLAN


BACKGROUND

As one of the most dynamically developing areas of national economies, ICT has gained a great importance for the economic growth of many countries in the world. ICT has opened new opportunities in virtually every sphere, from increased business and political cooperation and access to global information and knowledge drivers, to unprecedented civic activism and political participation. Also, ICT works towards increasing productivity in other areas of economy from.

In view of the central role of ICT for economic and political development of nations, BSEC ICT Working Group will continue its efforts directed to the creation of conditions for the development of ICT in BSEC Member States and provision of universal access to ICT among its citizens as a prerequisite of engagement and participation in modern society. The 2011-2013 Action Plan of the BSEC ICT Working Group will evolve around:

1. Promotion of the ICT cooperation among BSEC member states;

2. Creating conditions for the improvement and growth of ICT in five main directions: Telecommunications, ICT education, ICT environment and e-services;

3. Designing and implementing key projects aimed at development of ICT sector and setting a platform for expanded cooperation and networking.

I. PROMOTION OF THE ICT COOPERATION AMONG BSEC MEMBER STATES

1. Creation of online sub-groups within the Working Group (e.g. on Telecommunications, e- services, etc).

2. Holding regular meetings of top state authorities with decision-making power in the field of ICT.

3. Exchange of information on the current status of ICT in BSEC member states, as well as recent and planned ICT developments.

4. Research into the ICT-related legal infrastructure of each BSEC member state, identification of significant issues, development of proposals on relevant changes in legislation, normative acts and technical standards based on an recognized international standard.

5. Creating conditions for the growth and empowerment of ICT SMEs and enhancing business cooperation in ICT area among companies in the BSEC region.

6. Planning the organization of regional ICT expos and exhibitions for promotion of latest ICT developments and innovation in the region and enhancement of regional business cooperation.

II. CREATING CONDITIONS FOR THE IMPROVEMENT AND GROWTH OF ICT IN FIVE MAIN DIRECTIONS: TELECOMMUNICATIONS, ICT EDUCATION, ICT ENVIRONMENT AND E- SERVICES

1. Telecommunications:

a) Development of action plans for increasing broadband penetration in BSEC Member States.

b) Creation of a platform for cooperation in the field of mobile technologies.

c) Development of a universal service mechanism for increasing internet penetration in BSEC member states.

2. ICT Education:

a) Designing plans for the development of physical infrastructure and relevant systems for ICT workforce development and improvement of technological education in BSEC member states (e.g. creation of regional training centers and online and/or on-site knowledge hubs, etc.).

b) Enhancing educational and professional development cooperation among ICT related academic and business entities in BSEC member states and other interested countries (e.g. developing student exchange and internship schemes, organizing faculty exchange schemes for universities, etc.).

c) Enhancement of cooperation in science and technology among scientific communities and R&D centers in BSEC Member States.

3. ICT Business Environment:

a) Taking steps towards development and/or improvement of physical infrastructure for ICT development in BSEC member states.

b) Promotion of a regional ICT backbone network for ultimate use and development of the existing infrastructure.

c) Creating conditions for nationwide access to ICT, including for specials interest groups, such as the disabled, the educational communities, etc.

d) Promoting creation of favorable legal infrastructure for ICT development.

e) Developing recommendations for the creation of a favorable environment for FDI attraction and increased ICT outsourcing to BSEC member states.

4. E-Services:

a) Designing joint projects targeting development of e-government, e-health, e-learning and e-commerce systems in BSEC member states.

b) Activating cooperation with countries reporting advanced e-services for expertise and technical consultancy.

5. Internet Security / Cyber-Security

a) Providing a safer cyber-space and combating cyber-crime.


III.  DESIGNING AND IMPLEMENTING KEY PROJECTS AIMED AT DEVELOPMENT OF ICT SECTOR AND SETTING A PLATFORM FOR EXPANDED COOPERATION AND NETWORKING

The existing and possible projects are listed in Annex I.

IV. IMPLEMENTATION AND MONITORING

The Action Plan will be supplemented by the Work Program to be elaborated by the Working Group annually.

The ICT Working Group, as a permanent subsidiary body of BSEC, will monitor the implementation of the Action Plan and submit regular progress reports to the BSEC Committee of Senior Officials, the Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs and to the Ministers of Information and Communication Technologies of the BSEC Member States.

Whenever necessary, at the initiative of the Country Coordinator and the Chairmanship- in-Office, an ad-hoc meeting at expert level may be convened to review the implementation of the Action Plan, to update the Work program, to prepare an interim report for the Working Group meeting and to propose new activities.

The Action Plan should by no means be construed as exclusive or precluding any other initiative to be implemented at local, national, bilateral or regional level. The activities comprised into the present Action Plan will be carried out without prejudice to the obligations of the Member States deriving from their membership in other international organizations.

 
V. APPROVAL AND REVISION OF THE ACTION PLAN

The Action Plan was approved by the BSEC Working Group on Information and Communication Technologies at its meeting on 15 November 2011 in  Istanbul.

When needed, the Action Plan is subject to revision by the WG.