The Potentials of Digital Economy in ASEAN

PUTRAJAYA 26 SEPTEMBER 2021 – The Dialogue on China-ASEAN Information Harbor begins today at Wuzhen, Zhejiang Province in China. Tan Sri Datuk Seri Panglima TPr Annuar Haji Musa, Minister of Communications and Multimedia has taken part virtually and spoke on behalf of Malaysia, which is the current chair of the ASEAN Digital Ministers’ Meeting (ADGMIN1) and ASEAN Digital Senior Officials’ Meeting (ADGSOM).

“The COVID-19 crisis has transformed digitalisation from healthcare services to online purchases and payments.

“Digital economy has become an important element in our daily lives. It has the potential to be the key driver in developing new industries and new areas of growth in ASEAN.

“According to the World Economic Forum, ASEAN has the world’s fastest expanding internet market. In 2019, the region’s internet economy hit 100 billion US Dollars, three times more than the last four years. By 2025, the region’s internet economy is expected to grow to 300 billion US Dollars. This will make ASEAN the world’s largest single market by 2030”, said the Minister.

“In January this year, the ASEAN Digital Ministers launched the ASEAN Digital Masterplan 2025. The Masterplan drives ASEAN’s aim to be a ‘leading digital community and economic bloc, powered by secure and transformative digital services, technologies, and ecosystem, and undergirded by cybersecurity to foster a trusted and reliable digital space’, which not only looks into the design for the development of the digital economy but also specific implementation measures as well as guidelines for digital governance.

“Malaysia has introduced the National Digital Infrastructure Plan or Pelan Jalinan Digital Negara (JENDELA) to boost digital connectivity in the country as well as preparing Malaysia for the transition towards 5G technology.

“The 5G deployment in stages will transform Malaysia into an innovation hub and attract new investments worth 70 billion Ringgit Malaysia in the digital sector, from international and local investors. This will help the country to create new business opportunities and high-value jobs, with an estimated 100,000 new jobs expected between 2021 and 2025.

“The launching of MyDIGITAL and the Malaysia Digital Economy Blueprint in February this year, is expected to contribute to a GDP of an estimated 22.6 percent by 2025,” said the Minister.

It was also stressed that with the rise of the digital economy, the rise of cyber security threats will become prevalent. Malaysia has positioned itself among the best ranking countries in the cybersecurity industry.

The Minister also said, “At the ASEAN level, Malaysia, is working together with Singapore, through our national cyber security agencies, to develop the ASEAN Plan of Action on the Implementation Norms of Responsible States Behaviour in Cyberspace to ensure effective and practical implementation of these norms.

“Taking into account the momentum of the ASEAN-China Year of Digital Economic Cooperation and the possibility of ASEAN-China Digital Cooperation, this dialogue programme is a good venue to foster deeper collaboration, exchange ideas, and explore new development points in digital cooperation. Malaysia is honoured to be a part of this Dialogue on China-ASEAN Information Harbor,” said Tan Sri Datuk Seri Panglima TPr Annuar Haji Musa.

The Dialogue on China-ASEAN Information Harbor is a part of the World Internet Conference. The event themed “Towards a New Era of Digital Civilisation – Building a Community with a Shared Future in Cyberspace,” was held in a hybrid manner this year.

It is expected that this conference will be attended by nearly 2,000 representatives from domestic and foreign governments, international organisations, industry associations, global leading enterprises, universities, and research institutes from over 80 countries and regions.