Asean ministers adopt digital masterplan to boost trade, aid Covid-19 recovery

Some of the dialogue partners waving at each other after closing their meeting with dialogue partners at the first Asean Digital Senior Officials Meeting (ADGSOM1) in conjunction with the first Asean Digital Ministerial Meeting (ADGMIN1) and Related Meetings on Friday (Jan 23, 2020). - Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 23 (Xinhua): The first Association of South-East Asian Nations (Asean) Digital Ministers' Meeting on Friday (Jan 22) adopted the Asean Digital Masterplan 2025 (ADM2025) to guide the group's digital cooperation from 2021 to 2025.

In a joint declaration after the meeting, the ministers said the plan would prioritize Asean's recovery from Covid-19, connect businesses and facilitate cross-border trade and build a digitally inclusive society, among other goals, making the group a leading digital community and economic bloc powered by secure and transformative digital services, technologies and ecosystem.

The ministers noted the importance of accelerating the inclusive digital transformation in Asean as one of the key strategy for the region to exit from the COVID-19 crisis.

The two-day virtual meeting was chaired by Malaysian Minister of Communications and Multimedia Saifuddin Abdullah, and attended by his counterparts from other Asean members, with the ministers also holding consultations with their counterparts from China, Japan, South Korea, India, the United States, and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

The Asean ministers expressed appreciation for China's active promotion and success of the 2020 Asean-China Year of Digital Economy Cooperation, the establishment of Asean-China digital economy partnership, and activities on various topics, including digital technology in pandemic prevention and control, 5G use cases, artificial intelligence (AI) and industrial digital transformation by overcoming the negative impact of Covid-19.

The ministers looked forward to strengthening policy alignment and deepening the cooperation on digital technology and application for both sides, and agreed to exchange and cooperate on digital development policy, digital technology in pandemic prevention and control, digital innovation, digital infrastructure, digital security, and digital capacity building in 2021.

The ministers also agreed to develop the Action Plan for Implementing the Asean-China Partnership on Digital Economy 2021-2025 in 2021, said a separate joint media statement.

ASEAN, founded in 1967, groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.- Xinhua
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