PH-Led ASEAN Digital Ministers Push for Digital Transformation and Cybersecurity

By Jocelle Batapa-Sigue

Malaysia’s Communications and Digital Minister Fahmi Fadzil with Philippine ICT Secretary Ivan John Uy at the 3rd ADGMIN in Boracay, Philippines

The 3rd ASEAN Digital Ministers’ Meeting was held in Boracay, Philippines on February 9th and 10th 2023, with His Excellency Ivan John Uy, Minister of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), as the Chair and His Excellency Dr. Janil Puthucheary, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Communications and Information & Ministry of Health of Singapore as the Vice-Chair.

The meeting was a platform for the participating nations to welcome the progress made in the second year of the ASEAN Digital Masterplan 2025, which is aimed at transforming ASEAN into a leading digital community and economic bloc. The meeting encouraged the ASEAN Member States to cooperate and implement the Desired Outcomes and Enabling Actions outlined in the ASEAN Digital Masterplan 2025 through a people-centered approach, to ensure the region’s digital transformation is greener and sustainable.

The meeting also acknowledged the efforts made in the implementation of the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework (ACRF) and the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The ministers agreed to intensify cooperation among Member States to support the ACRF and to help Member States access best practices and strategies for using digital services in their COVID-19 mitigation and recovery efforts.

In the meeting, the focus was also on enhancing cybersecurity measures and promoting awareness about data management and cross-border data flows to boost businesses’ ability to operate in the digital economy, where data protection is essential. The meeting welcomed the use of emerging technologies like Blockchain Technology and Artificial Intelligence (AI) in furthering digital transformation, with policies and regulations in place to ensure responsible and secure usage.

The meeting recognized the progress made in the development of 5G ecosystem in ASEAN and encouraged Member States to collaborate in developing national 5G policies and the ASEAN 5G Roadmap.

The meeting was also a platform to deepen cooperation with Dialogue Partners and ITU, in enhancing digital cooperation, developing human resources, exploring emerging technologies for adoption, and improving the regional capacity in securing the cyberspace.

In conclusion, the 3rd ASEAN Digital Ministers’ Meeting was a step towards a sustainable digital future, with a focus on a people-centered, safe, secure and relevant approach to digital transformation and cooperation with Dialogue and Development Partners to enhance digital cooperation in the region.

Source: 3rd ADGMIN Joint Media Statement

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