Asean members are accelerating efforts to upgrade the digital economy within the bloc to brave digital challenges brought about by the pandemic.
Trade Negotiations Department director-general Auramon Supthaweethum, who plans to attend the upcoming 20th Asean Economic Community (AEC) Council meeting on Oct 18 via video conference, says the council wants to talk with Asean's digital ministers to exchange views on creating greater synergies between relevant sectors to prepare the region for the digital era.
"This is the first time the AEC Council will meet with Asean's digital ministers to find ways to drive Asean towards a digital transformation. The meeting is expected to approve a draft joint statement on the Enhancement of Digital Transformation in Asean before submission to Asean leaders for adoption and announcement at the summit at the end of this month," Mrs Auramon said.
The AEC Council's membership comprises designated ministers in charge of economic affairs and has a rotating chair aligned with the Asean chairmanship.
She said the AEC Council is the highest level of bureaucracy, helping to follow up on the implementation of AEC policies over the years.
The meeting will jointly endorse important documents such as the circular economy development framework for AEC, so Asean can adopt a circular economy for sustainable economic development, and the roadmap to support Asean's digital transformation (known as the Bandar Seri Begawan Roadmap).
Asean's digital transformation is a short-term and medium-term action plan for Asean as a digital economy. It will help revive the economy following the pandemic.
The meeting will consider the Asean cooperation framework on strengthening policy for the promotion of small and medium-sized enterprises as a guideline for members to strengthen their mechanisms for collecting business data of entrepreneurs and the development of a modern business registration system by using a single corporate registration number to share for all 10 member states.