At the ASEM 5, Hanoi 2004, the Leaders endorsed VietNam’s Initiative on “Cooperation in the Applications of ICT in Human Resource Development and Capacity Building” with co-sponsors: Sweden, Korea, Brunei, Japan and Ireland.

The Initiative is to provide an opportunity for high-level officials, experts and researchers from ASEM partners to exchange views, information and experiences regarding ICT application; to discuss and work out joint activities and potential follow-ups to bring into full play the potentials in ICT of Asia and Europe to better coordinate policy of ASEM partners in the application of ICT in human resource development and capacity building in the context of globalization; to network institutions, agencies and enterprises working in ICT in ASEM partners; and to make active contribution to the implementation of WSIS (the World Summit on the Information Society) phrase 1: “Building the information society: a global challenge in the new millennium”

To carry on the initiative, the “ASEM Preparatory Meeting for the ASEM ICT Ministerial Meeting” will be held in Halong Bay, VietNam , from 8-9 June 2006, by Vietnam Ministry of Posts and Telematics (MPT), with the above-mentioned co-sponsors. The meeting will be a main preparation for the ASEM ICT Ministerial Meeting to be held in December this year in VietNam . At the Pre-meeting, the five issues are to be discussed: Improving ICT Policy and Regulatory environment, Enhancement of ICT enterprise’s capability, Cooperation in research & development of ICT capacity building, Cooperation in education and training for human resource, Empowering local community in use of ICT.