Smart cities, cybersecurity, e-commerce, trade facilitation in focus at 32nd ASEAN Summit
At the 32nd ASEAN Summit, the Heads of State/Government of ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Member States adopted the ASEAN Leaders' Vision for a Resilient and Innovative ASEAN, as an articulation of ASEAN’s strategic position and intent in the context of a shifting geopolitical and economic landscape.
They agreed on the growing importance for ASEAN Member States to leverage on innovation and technology to improve the lives of people. Several steps have been taken with regards to the use of technology.
ASEAN Smart Cities Network
The countries have agreed to establish an ASEAN Smart Cities Network (ASCN) to synergise development efforts, share best practices, and catalyse more opportunities for growth, innovation, capacity-building and sustainable development.
The Governments also agreed that the ASCN would promote an inclusive approach and take into account city-specific needs, potential, local and cultural uniqueness, as well as level of development. The list of 26 ASCN ‘pilot cities’ has been identified. Click here to learn more about the ASCN.
ASEAN Leaders’ Statement on Cybersecurity Cooperation
The ASEAN Leaders’ Statement on Cybersecurity Cooperation was adopted in recognition of the growing urgency and sophistication of transboundary cyber threats. Relevant Ministers from all ASEAN Member States have been tasked to closely consider and recommend feasible options of coordinating cybersecurity policy, diplomacy, cooperation, technical and capacity building efforts among various platforms of the three pillars of ASEAN (the ASEAN Political-Security Community, the ASEAN Economic Community or AEC and the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community or ASSC). (Click here to learn more about the statement.)
Relevant Ministers from the Member States have been tasked to make progress on discussions at the ASEAN Ministerial Conference on Cybersecurity (AMCC), ASEAN Telecommunications and Information Technology Ministers’ Meeting (TELMIN), and other relevant sectoral bodies such as the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Transnational Crime (AMMTC), to identify a concrete list of voluntary, practical norms of State behaviour in cyberspace that ASEAN can work towards adopting and implementing, and to strengthen cooperation on personal data protection in cyberspace.
The countries recognised the importance of strengthening a coherent and comprehensive framework for personal data protection, in accordance with the domestic laws, policies and regulations of ASEAN Member States.
The work done in fostering greater regional cybersecurity cooperation through efforts such as Singapore’s ASEAN Cyber Capacity Programme (ACCP) was recognised in the Chairman’s statement. The S$10 million ACCP was announced at the Opening Ceremony of the inaugural ASEAN Ministerial Conference on Cybersecurity during the first Singapore International Cyber Week in 2016. Through a modular, multi-stakeholder and multi-disciplinary approach, the ACCP seeks to develop technical, policy and strategy-building capabilities within ASEAN Member States through workshops, seminars and conferences organised, in collaboration with partners such as Government agencies, industry players and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs).
The Member States are also looking forward to the launch of the ASEAN-Japan Cybersecurity Capacity Building Centre in Bangkok.
Promoting innovation and e-commerce and improving trade facilitation
The Member States applauded the economic thrusts identified by Singapore for 2018, i.e. promoting innovation and e-commerce; improving trade facilitation; deepening services and investment integration; cultivating a conducive regulatory environment; and progressing ASEAN’s external relations; and acknowledged their potential contribution to a stronger ASEAN Economic Community.
ASEAN Single Window
The live operation of the ASEAN Single Window (ASW) was welcomed. The ASW is an environment that connects and integrates the National Single Windows (NSWs) of ASEAN Member States (AMSs), thereby allowing the electronic exchange of data between the AMSs.
Five ASEAN Member States, namely Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Viet Nam, have been exchange the e-ATIGA (ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement of the ASEAN Free Trade Area) Form D beginning 1 January 2018.
The remaining ASEAN Member States are being encouraged to exert efforts towards implementing the e-ATIGA Form D. The Member States are also looking forward to the expansion of the ASW to include other customs and trade-related documents.
ASEAN Agreement on Electronic Commerce
Recognising the importance of capitalising on the opportunities presented by the digital age, and the need to promote cross-border electronic commerce (eCommerce) in the region, the states are establishing an ASEAN Agreement on E-commerce. The aim is to advance trade rules in e-commerce to promote greater digital connectivity and facilitate the free movement of goods and services across ASEAN. The agreement is expected to be signed later this year.
Officials have been asked to continue efforts to better prepare the AEC for the digital age including through strengthening cross-sectoral coordination in the implementation of the ASEAN Work Programme on Electronic Commerce 2017- 2025.
The Leaders’ announcement at the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit on 18 March 2018 on the ASEAN-Australia Digital Trade Standards Cooperation Initiative, was welcomed and officials tasked to discuss and finalise the details of this initiative in a timely manner. The ASEAN-Australia Digital Trade Standards initiative provides a framework for Australia and ASEAN countries to cooperate in developing, adopting and using international standards that promote digital trade and support inclusive economic growth in the region.
ASEAN Digital Integration Framework and ASEAN Innovation Network
An ASEAN Digital Integration Framework is being developed to monitor the progress of ASEAN’s digital integration. An initiative has been launched to develop the ASEAN Innovation Network, which aims to strengthen linkages between innovation ecosystems to spark new collaborations and solutions, and address the demand from the increasingly sophisticated and growing consumer base in the region.
Evaluating ASEAN’s readiness for the Fourth Industrial Revolution
Noting the expansive and transformative changes brought about by the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the ASEAN Secretariat is carrying out a study on ASEAN’s readiness for the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The study is being conducted in recognition of the need for ASEAN to take a holistic and long-term perspective in assessing and building its readiness for the new era, by addressing related challenges and developing capabilities to capitalise on the new opportunities presented.
Read the complete Chairman's Statement here.