On 16 July 2021, the ASEAN-China Digital Economy Development and Cooperation Forum 2021 was held in Wuhan, Hubei Province. The forum was co-hosted by the Centre for International Economic and Technological Cooperation of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of China (CIECT of MITT), ASEAN-China Centre (ACC) and Wuhan Municipal People's Government. More than 500 participants attended the opening ceremony, including officials of Hubei Provincial Government and Wuhan Municipal Government, diplomats from embassies and consulates of ASEAN Member States (AMS) in China, and representatives from enterprises and economic and trade organizations in China.
Mr. Xu Kemin, Chief Economist of MITT, Mr. Cao Guangjing, Vice Governor of Hubei Province, Mr. Zhang Shu, Deputy Secretary of the CPC Wuhan Municipal Committee, Mr. Djauhari Oratmangun, Ambassador of Indonesia to China, Mr. Myo Thant Pe, Ambassador of Myanmar to China, Mr. Chen Dehai, Secretary-General of ACC, and Mr. Ni Guangnan, Academician of Chinese Academy of Engineering, attended the forum and delivered remarks. Mr. Satvinder Singh, Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN for ASEAN Economic Community, Mr. Deng Xijun, Ambassador of China to ASEAN, and heads of digital economy authorities of Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia and Thailand addressed the forum via video.
Mr. Xu Kemin pointed out that the digital economy has become a key engine of global economic recovery under the COVID-19 pandemic, and an important direction for future development in the Asia-Pacific region and even the entire world. China and ASEAN can strengthen cooperation in various fields, such as promoting digital infrastructure construction, broadening the scope of investment in the digital economy, deepening digital pandemic prevention and control, and enhancing digital skills training.
Mr. Cao Guangjing said the booming development of digital economy has laid a solid foundation for Wuhan Metropolitan Area to deepen cooperation with ASEAN in this field. He hoped that AMS will continue paying close attention to and support the development of digital economy in Hubei Province and promote closer business ties between the two sides.
Mr. Djauhari Oratmangun and Mr. Myo Thant Pe pointed out in their speeches that ASEAN and China have stood together with mutual assistance amid the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. The digital economy cooperation between the two sides has strong complementarity and great potential, which is conducive to mutual benefits and win-win results.
Mr. Deng Xijun believed that the establishment of ASEAN-China digital economy partnership cannot be more timely. Both sides should seize this opportunity to deepen practical cooperation and share development dividends.
Mr. Satvinder Singh stressed that strengthening cooperation between ASEAN and China in the field of digital economy is beneficial for the promotion of both sides’ positions in the global value chain.
Mr. Chen Dehai said with the comprehensive development of ASEAN-China strategic partnership, Wuhan will play a greater role in China’s opening-up and cooperation with ASEAN. ACC is willing to provide full support and assistance to the revitalized city of Wuhan in developing practical cooperation with AMS in all fields.
With the theme of “Sharing New Digital Opportunities and Exploring a New Future of Cooperation”, the forum consisted of activities including the Opening Ceremony & ASEAN-China Digital Economy Partnership Forum, and four sub-forums, namely Digital Infrastructure Interconnectivity, AI Scenarios and Applications, Cross-Border E-Commerce & Digital Trade, and Digital Industry Cooperation. Field visits to Wuhan’s digital economy industry were also carried out. The forum aimed to deepen ASEAN-China practical cooperation in digital economy and enhance Wuhan Metropolitan Area’s opening-up.
During their stay in Wuhan, Mr. Chen Dehai attended the meeting between Mr. Cheng Yongwen, Deputy Secretary of Wuhan Municipal Committee and Mayor of Wuhan and participants of the forum, and visited the Wuhan East Lake High-tech Development Zone and Hubei Provincial Museum together with AMS diplomatic envoys in China.