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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.