KUALA LUMPUR: South-East Asian countries need to expand their investments in digital infrastructure and ensure equitable access to technology as economies recover from the Covid-19 pandemic, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) said.
President Masatsugu Asakawa said the region must close the digital divide and expand existing investments in digital infrastructure with higher quality mobile broadband and ensure affordable internet access and coverage.
“These steps can also enhance access to basic social services such as health and education and access to financial services. These investments will better equip countries to address the worsening income inequality and disparities in opportunities brought about by the pandemic, ” he said in his keynote address at ADB’s first South-East Asia Development Symposium yesterday.
The symposium aimed to provide government officials and other stakeholders with a wide range of cutting-edge perspectives on critical development issues, ADB said in a statement.
As countries in the region continue to grapple with the pandemic, this year’s inaugural event is focused on providing knowledge support to countries as they recover from the pandemic’s economic and social impacts.
Asakawa also highlighted five key policy areas that can support developing economies in South-East Asia as they return to a path of sustainable growth, including facilitating a green and resilient recovery by promoting investments that drive economic activity towards low-carbon and resilient practices.— Bernama
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