Monday, June 17, 2024

PH-hosted Asean ICT meeting issues ‘Boracay Digital Declaration’

BORACAY — The 3rd Asean Digital Ministers Meeting (ADGMIN) concluded on Friday, Feb. 10, here as members of the regional bloc issued a “Boracay Digital Declaration” to strengthen the digital environment and commerce in the region.

It was the first meeting to be held physically as the first two editions were held online during the pandemic. This was the first time that the Philippines hosted the event, which is rotated among the member-countries of Asean.

Two of the main issues discussed during the high-level forum were the creation of an Asean-wide digital marketplace and the formation of an Asean Computer Emergency Response Team (Asean CERT).

As for the group’s e-commerce initiative, officials said they are looking forward to the completion of a study for the Digital Economy Framework Agreement (DEFA) to examine areas that can be included in a framework to accelerate Asean’s digital integration towards a regionally integrated economy.

The ministers also discussed the Asean Regional CERT Operational Framework, which aims to better inform the resources required for the implementation of the Asean Regional CERT.

At the same time, the forum welcomed the efforts of member states in implementing enhanced cybersecurity measures consistent with the Asean Cybersecurity Cooperation Strategy 2021-2025 in view of the recent rise of global cybersecurity attacks and threats.

For its part, Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) secretary Ivan Uy said the Philippines pushed several key areas of focus in ICT, namely: expediting the digitalization of government, rectifying slow Internet connectivity, and fortifying cybersecurity.

“These components align with and support the implementation of the Asean Digital Masterplan 2025, in furtherance of its vision of the Asean as a leading digital community and economic bloc, powered by secure and transformative digital services, technologies and ecosystem,” Uy said.

The meeting agreed to further intensify cooperation among member-states to accelerate the region’s digital transformation efforts to support the Asean Comprehensive Recovery Framework (ACRF).

In the conference, government executives backed plans and programs regarding data management and cross-border data flows to boost the ability of businesses to seize opportunities in the digital economy where data protection is an essential requirement.

At the same time, the convention tackled the need to enhance collaborations and programs aimed at developing analytics, AI, and digital skills fundamental to closing the talent and skill gaps in the region.

As such, the meeting acknowledged the implementation of the Asean Strategic Guidance on Artificial Intelligence and Digital Workforce.

The digital ministers also agreed to recognize the progress of the development of 5G ecosystem in Asean and noted the recommendations of the 3rd Asean workshop on 5G.

The next staging of the ADGMIN is scheduled to be held in Singapore in January or February 2024.

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