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CONCEPT NOTE ON THEME “FORGING PARLIAMENTARY COOPERATION IN DIGITAL INCLUSION TOWARDS ASEAN COMMUNITY 2025”

Digital inclusion is a cross cutting agenda for ASEAN as the region strives in its endeavours towards an ASEAN community and to expand ASEAN activities and opportunities across ASEAN Member States.  There are challenges which have been identified such as: connectivity gaps in internet access and affordability; and network interoperability in rural and underserved areas.  To encourage free flow of cross border data for business objectives, while respecting domestic laws and regulations that promote conducive digitally economic environments.  Eco-systems must also be in place to foster the growth of E-Market and E-Commerce platforms and are essential to uphold fair and standardised Trade Facilitation Policies thus further enabling seamless digital payments in these processes. 


The COVID-19 pandemic as a once in a generation occurrence that has not only disrupted global economies including the ASEAN region, but has also impacted economic policies as the region aims to build back better.  Whilst the pandemic has also accelerated policy-makers, regulators, and businesses in their uptake of digital technologies in enabling a wide range of economic activities, the relative reality that the new normal will reshape the way ASEAN adapts in its next steps toward ASEAN Economic Community 2025.  The region will see this disruption as a leap in the road towards making ASEAN both a digital economy and a digital society as hoped in the ASEAN Digital Masterplan (ADM) 2025.

 
AIPA plays an instrumental role in realising digital inclusion in ASEAN through the people or grassroots with appropriate legislation and community messaging that promote awareness of the value of digital services to the society.  Therefore, in harmonising regulation and standardising the policies across ASEAN, AIPA can be a sounding board for ASEAN Member States to align and assimilate strategies, policies, action plans, and roadmaps across all sectors while considering utilising digital technology as an effective enabling tool.  
 

lt is hoped that with the theme “Forging Parliamentary Cooperation in Digital Inclusion towards ASEAN Community 2025”, it shall contribute to reassert AIPA Member Parliaments' commitment in creating an “ASEAN as a leading digital community and economy bloc, powered by secure and transformative digital services, technologies and ecosystem”, as envisioned in the ASEAN Digital Masterplan 2025.  The theme shall assist and support ASEAN Member states to accelerate digital integration through effective prioritisation, coordination and tracking across different objectives and timelines.

CONCEPT NOTE ON THEME “FORGING PARLIAMENTARY COOPERATION IN DIGITAL INCLUSION  TOWARDS ASEAN COMMUNITY 2025”