Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have convened in Borocay Island, Philippines, laying the groundwork for reshaping the region’s post-COVID-19 digital landscape. Data protection, anti-scamming and cybersecurity are among the issues given priority.
Southeast Asia has an estimated 400 million internet users, a thriving 622 million population, and a rising economy that is forecast to rank fourth in the world by 2030. The digital economy is anticipated to be a primary engine of growth in the region.
According to Mano Verabathran, Undersecretary of International Division, Ministry of Communications and Digital (KKD), in order to secure ASEAN’s economy and digitalization ambitions, strengthening cybersecurity cooperation and anti-scamming measures were essential requirements, especially in light of more advanced attacks and threats.
Thailand cited the need for ministers’ meetings to debate and bring up the topic of anti-scamming as being urgent and of the utmost importance right now.
“In the digital economy, we have all the data. We need to protect the data and get all the necessary security measures laid out to do cross-border business andflourish,” Mano told Bernama on the sideline of the 3rd ASEAN Digital Senior Officials’ Meeting (ADGSOM) here.
Mano added that in addition to declarations and joint statements that had been developed to highlight the significance of cybersecurity and data protection issues, ASEAN members agreed during the Joint Working Group meeting that each minister’s statement should focus specifically on these issues.
As member nations get ready to emerge as a competitive digital economic bloc, ASEAN must collectively make sure there are no weak links in the effort to secure cyberspace for the region’s digital economy.
As for Malaysia, Communications and Digital Minister Fahmi Fadzil previously stated that the ministry’s primary areas of concentration for this year will be data and cyber security.
In this regard, Malaysia and Singapore launched the initiative by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on January 30 to reaffirm their partnership in the areas of personal data protection, cyber security, and digital economy. The rest of ASEAN will be the focus of the ensuing action.
The ADGSOM also looked into the progress and results of the projects that were approved for the 2022 Work Cycle Projects as they were being implemented.
Among the projects were a guide on artificial intelligence governance and ethics (Singapore), capacity building to bridge the digital divide (Indonesia), green digital initiatives (Philippines), regulatory best practices (Malaysia) and the establishment of the standard to exchange data and information related to disasters in the ASEAN region (Laos).