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Apr 23, 2024 / 19:49

Sound technology development policies key to ASEAN's future

Half of ASEAN's population lives in rural areas, making it harder for them to access digital solutions.

ASEAN countries need to prepare for a digital future by developing sound infrastructure and policies, said Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Manh Hung.

The first preliminary session of the ASEAN Future Forum 2024 held in Hanoi. Photo:

The statement was made as Minister Hung delivered his keynote address at the first preliminary session on ASEAN's sustainable growth and future at the ASEAN Future Forum 2024 in Hanoi.

"Digital transformation is more of a regulatory revolution than a technological development," Hung said.

Every government needs a new regulatory framework to protect and support the operations of digital businesses, he added.

Regional infrastructures need to be fully functional, sustainable, smart, secure and open, the Vietnamese official said.

Nearly 700 million people in ASEAN need to master basic digital skills before they can access digital solutions, Hung said.

“It is a big challenge because more than half of our population are living in the rural areas,” he said.

Hung stressed that Vietnam is willing to share experiences and practices with neighboring countries and other partners in digital transformation.
Rapid growth depends on digital development, and sustainable development is related to green growth, he said.

Speaking at the preliminary session, Erywan Yusof, Second Minister of Foreign Affairs of Brunei, suggested that ASEAN nations should prepare their people to seize the opportunities presented by the 4.0 revolution to drive the regional economy higher and more competitive.

It is noteworthy that, unlike other regions, ASEAN member states are able to come together and discuss the future scenarios of the region, he said.

According to the Brunei government officials, this approach is a necessary value and asset for countries in the region.

To facilitate a sustainable future for ASEAN, the Brunei minister urged member states to focus on maintaining peace, security and mutual trust and understanding.

The Association's member states should continue their discussions and extend their partnerships to the world, he said.

ASEAN also needs to pave the way for the development of modern technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), Erywan concluded.

Tetsuya Watanabe, President of the Economic Research Institute for East Asia and ASEAN, praised ASEAN's significant achievements in maintaining peace and building a cross-cultural community.

These achievements are the result of a lot of work and efforts that take into account cooperation, integration and cultural diversification, he said.

The success of the ASEAN community is a lesson for other regions in the world to follow in resolving disputes and facilitating growth, Tetsuya said.

He advised regional countries to remain united, strengthen their partnerships, and promote innovation, the Japanese official added.