Technology SMEs, businesses, and significant stakeholders met at the ITU Telecom World 2016 to facilitate effective networking, innovation, and growth within the digital economy of the world. Attended by 8,800 people, the event was held at Bangkok – Thailand, and was graced by the presence of H.R.H Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, Kingdom of Thailand and General Chan-o-cha Prayut, Prime Minister, Kingdom of Thailand who launched the e vent and welcomed other key personalities across the globe including but not limited to H.R.H. Tapouto’a Ulukalala, the Crown Prince of Tonga; Xavier Bettel, Prime Minister of Luxemburg; Charlot Salwai Tabimasmas, Prime Minister of Vanuatu; Debretsion Gebremichael Deputy Prime Minister of Ethiopia; and Mukhisa Kituyi, Secretary General of UNCTAD. Thailand’s keystakeholders in the technology field and digital sector had this opportunity to exhibit their emerging and existing innovations which are spurring the country’s development to other global audience.
The event featured over 330 global leaders sourced from 90 countries who engaged in high profile discussions and top-rated debates concerning issues of the IT world and digital economy. Additionally, great feedback was received from Thaland’s participant as the event and speakers provided many lessons and case studies on how the government’s forward looking and inclusive digital economy policies are being turned into action by the private sector including SMEs and start-ups.
From the office of the ITU, Houlin Zhao (General Sec.) expressed the gradual growth of ITU to become a fully inclusive global stage, rising from high-level forum and debates to varied activities on the show flow which connects tech-SMEs with global governments and industries. He furthered to say that. “The dialogues, showcases, networking and other activities I have joined this week have given all our community and stakeholders – be they senior government officials, international organizations, leading corporate players or SMEs – the chance to examine issues vital to accelerating ICT innovation, and explore the many ways in which ICTs can help meet the SDGs.”
This year, the ITU Telecom World recorded 250 exhibitors, including 107 exhibiting SMEs, 60 partners and sponsors from 37 countries; 173 speakers from 56 countries in the Leadership Summit and Forum; 338 Leaders from 90 countries, split between public and private sectors; 7 Agreements/Contracts signed during the period of ITU Telecom World 2016 between Governments, Regulatory Bodies and Private Entities.; and 187 accredited media attended from 12 countries.
For tech enthusiasts, the exhibition centre was just the right place to be. The space featured tech trends cutting across 5G, cloud computing to smart devices, smart city solutions and national broadband plans. There were also sponsored sessions on topics including 5G, reaching the next billion, digital financial services, towards a digital Nigeria and enabling third network services for the digital economy during the forums and sessions. Key players included Huawei, KT, Japan’s MIAC, GTI, China Mobile and TDIA, Intel, MasterCard, GSMA/GSA, Nigeria and ME.
The Leadership Summit was a giant of the event. Speakers at the summit ranged from heads of state and governments from across the globe, leaders from the ICT industry and key verticals, SMEs, entrepreneurs and innovators to international organizations and academia. Conversations were focused on global perspectives and viewpoints from developed and developing countries alike. Forum sessions also delved into an exciting set of topics such as AI, how ICTs can meet the UN’s Sustainable development goals (SDGs), the connected car, digital financial inclusion and fiscal incentives and taxation in the industry. Debate by these top profile persons included the B2G and B2B dialogues, which brought together tech-SMEs and large companies for an open exchange; the Ministerial Roundtable on the crucial role of governments in advancing digital economy; Economic and Industry Roundtable, bringing together global ICT consulting firms, R&D entities, regional and international organizations; and the Asia Pacific Exchange on Broadband Regulation and Policy (co-hosted with Huawei).
There was series of networking occasions; Panel lunches hosted by the Smart Africa Alliance and CITRA helped ensure smooth run of other events such as the Leaders Lunch, and Korea Night. Also, the event had the Global Platform to influence network among ICT SMEs, corporations, and governments. The event spurred many important agreements between business and business (B2B), business and governments (B2G) and business and governments to UN.
The ITU Telecom awards was the last thing to happen. Finalists had to pitch their ideas to the panel – the awards are given to appreciate excellence and innovation in ICT solutions with social impact from SMEs and corporations. Some winners were BRK from Kenya for Global SME Award; Neofect from Republic of Korea for E-Health Thematic Award; ServisHero from Kingdom of Thailand for Host Country SME Award; From Africa again, was Academic Bridge in Rwanda winning eEducation Thematic Award; and other award winners in different categories and from different countries.
Closing the event, ITU Telecom World announced Busan in Korea as the host city for the 2017 (25-28 September) event which will largely focus on the creative digital economy and fostering SME growth.