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ADGMIN1: Ministers agree to deepen cooperation with dialogue and development partners

22 Jan 2021 / 22:05 H.

KUALA LUMPUR: The ministers at the inaugural Asean Digital Ministers’ Meeting (ADGMIN1) expressed their commitment in looking forward to further deepening cooperation with their Dialogue and Development Partners in enhancing digital cooperation, developing human resources, exploring emerging technologies for adoption, and improving the capacity to address cybersecurity risks in the implementation of the Asean Digital Masterplan 2025 (ADM2025).

In a joint statement released at the end of the ADGMIN1, the ministers also reiterated Asean’s commitment to pursue policy and regulatory dialogue with both dialogue and development partners.

They also called for greater participation from the private sector to jointly develop quality ICT infrastructure and services, including protecting Critical Information Infrastructures as highlighted at the 5th Asean Ministerial Conference on Cybersecurity and to improve Asean’s competitiveness to support the goals of the Asean Community.

ADGMIN1 was hosted by Malaysia and was chaired by Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah. (pix)

Themed “Asean: A Digitally Connected Community”, the meeting, which began with the senior officials meeting, was held virtually from Kuala Lumpur due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

It was participated by all 10 Asean member states namely Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

On its collaboration with China, the Asean ministers acknowledged the positive results from the wide range of Asean-China joint activities under the 2020 China-Asean Year of Digital Economy Cooperation which provided Asean Member States and China with opportunities to learn from each other’s practices in creating ecosystems for the digital economy and digitally-enabled industries to grow and prosper.

“The Ministers endorsed the Asean-China Digital Work Plan for 2021, including strengthening the cooperation on harnessing the use of digital technology to enhance industries, ICT infrastructure development policy, standards for advanced technologies, cybersecurity incident response, and dialogues on issues of common interest, as well as developing Asean-China cooperation action plan for the next five years,” the statement said.

The ministers also expressed their appreciation to Japan for its assistance in various areas of cooperation in 2020, including the Asean Conference on 5G Ecosystem Development, Symposium on ADM2025, Information Security Workshop for Internet Service Providers, Workshop on Smart Cities, and the various cybersecurity training programmes delivered at the Asean-Japan Cybersecurity Capacity Building Centre in Bangkok.

They had also endorsed the 2021 Asean-Japan Digital Work Plan which supports the implementation of ADM2025 initiatives relevant to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals through digitalisation.

The ministers expressed their appreciation to South Korea for its support on various cooperation activities including global consulting projects and Information Access Centres to facilitate digital innovation and strengthen Asean-South Korea smart connectivity, ICT capacity, and cybersecurity.

“The Ministers welcomed the endorsement of the 2021 Asean-South Korea Digital Work Plan that reflects their commitment to promoting cooperation on fostering digital ecosystem, maximising the benefits of emerging technologies such as 5G and artificial intelligence, and ultimately facilitate the implementation of the Master Plan on Asean Connectivity 2025 and the global agenda of Sustainable Development Goals,” it said.

The ministers welcomed the endorsement of the 2021 Asean-EU Digital Work Plan during the 1st ADGSOM+EU meeting to advance the cooperation in areas of mutual interest, including the on-going development of an ASEAN Digital Index (ADIX) and capacity building programmes on digital policies under the Enhanced Regional EU-Asean Dialogue Instrument (E-READI) Facility.

“The Ministers appreciated the United States’ ongoing assistance provided under the Asean-USAID Inclusive Growth in Asean through Innovation, Trade and E-Commerce (IGNITE), especially in the development of the Asean Digital Integration Index which also measures Asean’s digital performance,” it said.

It added that they also welcomed the continuing activities with the US-Asean Business Council, including the Asean-US Digital Policy Consultative Forum and the ATRC Stakeholders’ Consultative Dialogue, as well as the endorsement of the 2021 Asean-US Digital Work Plan during the 1st ADGSOM+US meeting, which includes the Asean Policy Implementation (API) Programme by USAID to accelerate the implementation of key Asean initiatives in support of Asean-US common goals.

The Ministers acknowledged India for the progress made in the commissioning of Centres of Excellence in Software Development and Training (CESDT) in Cambodia and Laos and similar ongoing activities in Vietnam and Myanmar in addition to its assistance to the ICT human resource development through various knowledge sharing and capacity building programmes at reputable training centres in India.

They also endorsed the 2021 Asean-India Digital Work Plan to further the cooperation which supports the ADM2025 initiatives including the establishment of connectivity of NKN (National Knowledge Network) with Asean Countries, capacity building and knowledge sharing in the areas of Internet of Things (IoT) and 5G, ICT in Disaster Management, Creating smart societies through ICT, Next Generation Transmission Technologies, Future Trends in Mobile Communication, Advanced Satellite Communication, and Regulatory and Policy issues.

The Ministers expressed their appreciation to ITU for its sustained support in advancing the development of the digital sector in Asean, specifically in the areas of 5G ecosystem development and international mobile roaming, as well as direct assistance extended in numerous areas to individual AMS.

ADGMIN was previously known as the Asean Telecommunications and Information Technology Ministers Meeting (ASEAN TELMIN). -Bernama

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