ITU Telecom World 2016 wrapped up proceedings today at IMPACT Convention and Exhibition Center, Bangkok, following an action-packed programme of showcasing, debate, networking and Awards.
The event, which was formally opened in the presence of H.R.H Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, Kingdom of Thailand and General Chan-o-cha Prayut, Prime Minister, Kingdom of Thailand included big names, countries and SMEs from around the world and welcomed over 8,800 participants.
Among the high-level guests in attendance were: 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.
Some 250 Exhibitors, including 107 exhibiting tech-SMEs and 60 partners and sponsors took part in the event. Over 330 leaders from 90 countries joined the debates, including top-level representatives from Hungary and the Republic of Korea – past and future ITU Telecom World host countries.
“From its high-level Forum debates to the activities on the show floor, ITU Telecom World has successfully moved towards becoming the truly inclusive international platform connecting tech-SMEs with global governments and industry leaders,” said ITU Secretary-General, Houlin Zhao.
“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 organisations, 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.”
“Thailand is pleased to be the host of the very successful ITU Telecom World 2016,” said Air Chief Marshal Prajin Juntong, Deputy Prime Minister and Acting Minister of Digital Economy and Society.
“I have received positive feedback from Thai participants that the event has been extremely useful in showcasing Thailand’s thriving digital economy and society and, importantly, demonstrating innovations and entrepreneurship which are key drivers for national development today. The event and speakers have 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.”
The Exhibition featured the types of technology driving our digital economy, from 5G and cloud computing to smart devices, smart city solutions and national Broadband plans, as well as investment and partnership opportunities from around the world.
Reflecting the significance of ICT across key verticals, ITU welcomed new vertical sectors to the event, such as MasterCard, Honda or Toyota, joining debates in sessions such as the Connected Car or Cashless Future.
Leadership Summit & Forum debates
162 speakers from 55 countries took part in plenaries, panel debates, workshops, high-level roundtables and networking sessions in the Forum and at the Leadership Summit. Speakers spanned heads of state and governments from across the globe, leaders from the ICT industry and key verticals, SMEs, entrepreneurs and innovators to international organisations and academia. They provided truly global perspectives and viewpoints from developed and developing countries alike.
Discussions launched with the Leadership Summit, on 14 November, which brought highly influential participants together to share views and explore why working together is so important for growing the digital economy. Forum sessions 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.
Other debate highlights 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).
The event showcased sponsored sessions on topics spanning 5G, reaching the next billion, digital financial services, towards a digital Nigeria and enabling third network services for the digital economy. Key players included Huawei, KT, Japan’s MIAC, GTI, China Mobile and TDIA, Intel, MasterCard, GSMA/GSA, Nigeria and MEF.