On 29 November 2022, the ASEAN-China Centre (ACC) hosted ASEAN-China Digital Economy Cooperation Dialogue online. H.E. Mr. Shi Zhongjun, Secretary-General of ACC, H.E. Mr. Pehin Dato Rahmani, Ambassador of Brunei Darussalam to China, Mrs. Zin Mar Htwe, Charge d’Affaires, a.i. and Minister Counsellor of Myanmar Embassy in Beijing, Mr. Benjamin Sukanjanajtee, DCM and Minister of Royal Thai Embassy in China, Mr. Sanmugan Subramaniam, DCM and Minister of Embassy of Malaysia in China, Mr. Khouanchay Iemsouthi, Economic and Commercial Counsellor of Embassy of Lao PDR in China, Mr. Emmanuel W. Ang, Commercial Counsellor of the Embassy of the Philippines in China, and representatives from Embassies of ASEAN Member States in Beijing, the ASEAN Secretariat, the Ministry of Science and Technology of Myanmar, Cambodia Institute for Cooperation and Peace, Yangon University of Computer Studies, Yangon Technological University, Myanmar Aerospace Engineering University, National University of Singapore and Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam, attended the Dialogue online. The Dialogue set up a branch venue at University Malaya in Malaysia.
H.E. Mr. Shi Zhongjun, Secretary-General of ACC, H.E. Mr. Satvinder Singh, Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN for ASEAN Economic Community, H.E. Mr. Deng Xijun, Chinese Ambassador to ASEAN, Mr. Benjamin Sukanjanajtee, DCM and Minister of the Royal Thai Embassy in China, and Dr. Lei Lei Oo, Director-General of Ministry of Science and Technology of Myanmar delivered speeches. Dr. Henry Chan, Visiting Senior Research Fellow at Cambodia Institute for Cooperation & Peace, Dr. Lim Tai Wei, Senior Research Fellow at National University of Singapore, and Dr. Mie Mie Khin, Rector of Yangon University of Computer Studies of Myanmar made presentations. Ms. Wang Hongliu, Director of the General Affairs and Coordination Division, and Mr. Fang Qiang, Deputy Director of the Information and Public Relations Division of ACC, attended the Dialogue.
H.E. Mr. Shi Zhongjun stated that ASEAN and China are highly complementary in digital economy and have great potential in digital cooperation. In recent years, especially in face of the pandemic, ASEAN and China had continuously strengthened their digital cooperation, which was not only the correct historical choice made by both sides to actively follow the trend of the times, but also a vivid example of how both sides share opportunities and seek common development. Digital economy has become a new highlight of ASEAN-China cooperation. ACC is willing to continuously play its role as a bridge between ASEAN and China to promote policy communication, expand consensus and deepen cooperation in the digital field.
H.E. Mr. Satvinder Singh expressed his deep appreciation to ACC for assisting ASEAN to achieve its priority goals of digital transformation. He said that the COVID-19 has accelerated the regional adoption of digital economy, and the transformation has in return contributed to the resilience of regional economy recovery. The challenges of the last two years underscored the importance of strengthening ASEAN’s relations with external partners especially with China. ASEAN encourages partnership between the public and private sectors to allow ASEAN and China to accelerate skills, knowledge and technology transfer, as well as foster innovation in digital economy.
H.E. Mr. Deng Xijun said that digital economy has become a new growth point to promote China’s economic and trade cooperation with ASEAN. Enhancing scientific and technological innovation and deepening the digital economic cooperation are important directions for the future cooperation. He made three suggestions, namely to connect China and ASEAN’s development strategies, to deepen digital economy cooperation in critical areas, and to strengthen capacity building and exchanges.
Mr. Benjamin Sukanjanajtee said that, in 2016, Thailand adopted the “Thailand 4.0 Policy” as national long-term development strategy, with digital economy and digital transformation as its key elements. Thailand not only aims at transforming into a digital economy and society, but also aspires to become a digital hub of ASEAN. Thailand and China have long been supporting each other in digital economy cooperation and achieved concrete outcomes.
Dr. Lei Lei Oo stated that Science, Technology and Innovation are important keys for promoting stability and integration in ASEAN. ASEAN Plan for Action on Science, Technology and Innovation (2016-2025) and ASEAN-China Plan of Action for a Closer Partnership of Science, Technology and Innovation for Future (2021-2025) are effective and supporting plans for ASEAN-China innovation and sustainable development. Dr. Lei Lei Oo also briefed on the development of technological innovation in Myanmar.
The scholars and experts elaborated their opinions on ASEAN-China digital transformation in education, cooperation on digital platforms and digital economy development of their own countries.
At present, digital technology cooperation between ASEAN and China is continuously deepening. Against this backdrop, ACC hosted the ASEAN-China Digital Economy Cooperation Dialogue, aiming at sharing experience between ASEAN and China in digital pandemic prevention and control as well as recovery, digital infrastructure construction and digital transformation, which enriched the communication platforms, tapped cooperation potentials, and contribute to the sound and long-term development of the ASEAN-China digital economy cooperation.