Asean countries should synchronise their regulations to facilitate online trade, in order to transform the region into an integrated digital society as envisioned under the Asean Digital Master Plan 2025, a forum was told on Wednesday.
The head of Asean Secretariat’s information and communications technology (ICT) and tourism division, Le Quan Lang, said digital technology will play a key role in the region’s economic recovery after the Covid-19 pandemic.
During the crisis, he said, Asean countries have generally managed to take advantage of the digital market to spur economic growth. Citing a World Bank report, he said digital transactions in the region reached US$170 billion (about 5.5 trillion baht) last year.
“We could enhance economic growth in the Asean region, if all members and stakeholders agree to develop a digital platform to facilitate SMEs in the region,” he said.
“There are many aspects of e-commerce that need to be improved.”
He was speaking at a forum titled “Powering Digital Thailand 2022: Huawei Cloud & Connect Asia-Pacific Innovation”. The forum is a part of a series of events sponsored by the Bangkok Post, Asean Foundation and Huawei that will be held at Centara Grand & Bangkok Convention Centre at CentralWorld until Friday.
At the same event, the executive director of the Asean Foundation, said in order to survive and thrive in the digital era, Asean countries must prepare their workforce by equipping them with the skills needed to navigate the rapidly changing economic environment.
“Asean’s digital economy has the potential to contribute US$100 trillion to the region’s GDP. In order to realise this potential, Asean must create an ecosystem in which young talent are given the ICT skills and mindset they need to actively participate and reap the full benefits of the digital economy,” she said.
To facilitate the digital transition, last week, Asean Foundation and Huawei Asean academy launched “Asean Seeds for the Future”, an initiative aimed at building the digital capacity of youths in the region, to support the Asean Digital Master Plan 2025.
“As a home to over 200 million youths, Asean has a wealthy pool of digital talent that can transform the region into a leading digital community and economic bloc,” she added.
She hoped that the exhibition could spark new innovations that could improve the region’s resilience.