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Brown brushes up with Brunei’s royalty

Wednesday October 01, 2014 Written by Published in Politics
Minister of Telecommunications Mark Brown with his Royal Highness Prince Mohamed Bolkiah, Brunei’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade. 14093003 Minister of Telecommunications Mark Brown with his Royal Highness Prince Mohamed Bolkiah, Brunei’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade. 14093003

Takuvaine Member of Parliament Mark Brown travelled to Brunei earlier this month to attend a regional telecommunications meeting.

He also had the opportunity to attend some engagements with the Royal Family.
Brown, Minister of Telecommunications, first attended an engagement at the Brunei Info-Communication Technology Awards (BICTA) Gala dinner – held at the International Convention Centre in Berakas. 
His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office, joined regional ministers and officials attending the Asia-Pacific ICT Ministerial meeting, who were greeted to a night of entertainment, dining, and the presentation of awards.
Also present at the event was His Royal Highness Prince Abdul Malik.
Another engagement was at the Istana Nurul Iman palace, the official residence of Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei, who received an audience of all the Ministers and officials. 
The Sultan is the country’s head of state and absolute monarch.
Prior to the engagement with the Sultan, Brown was received by his Royal Highness Prince Mohamed Bolkiah, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade at his Office in Balai Penghadapan, Bukit Kayangan.
Brown extended an invitation to Prince Mohamed to attend the Cook Island’s 50th Anniversary celebration in August 2015, and indicated the country’s intention to strengthen its relationship with Brunei. 
This would begin the process towards formally establishing a diplomatic relationship with Brunei.
At the meeting, a number of area guidelines for the next five years of ICT development were discussed, including its critical role in enabling a creative economy and socio-economic development in the region. 
At the meeting, Brown delivered a statement on behalf of the country that began with a focus on the challenges of providing a cost effective telecommunications in a country with unique geography such as the Cook Islands.
“Excellencies, my personal drive is for ‘Faster and Cheaper Internet’ for the Cook Islands,” he said, according to an excerpt of his address.
Brown also discussed the recently deployed O3B technology and how a submarine cable – such as the under-development Hawaiiki project – is a long-term solution for upgrading the nation’s infrastructure.
“... I view this as an interim solution and believe that in order to achieve our goals, an international undersea fibre optic cable is required for the capital island, Rarotonga.”

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