ASEAN digital ministers launch ADM2025

Azlan Othman

The highlight of the first ASEAN Digital Ministers Meeting (ADGMIN) and related meetings was the launch of the ASEAN Digital Masterplan 2025 (ADM2025) which supersedes the ASEAN ICT Masterplan 2020.

The ADM2025 outlines eight desired outcomes and 37 enabling actions that will guide ASEAN’s digital cooperation from 2021 to 2025, in realising ASEAN’s vision as a leading digital community and economic bloc, powered by secure and transformative digital services, technologies and ecosystem.

Minister of Transport and Infocommunications Dato Seri Setia Awang Abdul Mutalib bin Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Setia Dato Paduka Haji Mohd Yusof attended the first ADGMIN and related meetings via video conferencing on January 21 and 22. The minister led a delegation comprising the permanent secretary and deputy permanent secretary as well as senior officials from the Ministry of Transport and Infocommunications (MTIC) and from the Authority for Info-communications Technology Industry of Brunei Darussalam (AITI).

Malaysia’s Communications and Multimedia Minister Dato’ Saifuddin Abdullah chaired the meeting which saw digital ministers from ASEAN member states discussing regional digital development and decide on the direction of digital cooperation within ASEAN and dialogue partners.

The first ADGMIN also endorsed the implementation of guidelines for the ASEAN Data Management Framework (DMF) and ASEAN Cross Border Data Flows (CBDF) Mechanism, which are initiatives of the ASEAN Framework on Digital Data Governance.

Minister of Transport and Infocommunications Dato Seri Setia Awang Abdul Mutalib bin Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Setia Dato Paduka Haji Mohd Yusof. PHOTO: MTIC

Building on the principles of the ASEAN framework on personal data protection, the initiatives seek to harmonise data management and cross border data flow standards in the ASEAN region.

The first ADGMIN also highlighted the need to enhance regional cybersecurity cooperation.

The first ADGMIN welcomed the proposal to enhance ASEAN cybersecurity cooperation through the establishment of an ASEAN Computer Emergency Response Teams (CERT) information exchange. The mechanism will support the exchange of information and best practices, and coordination of CERT capacity-building programmes in the region.

The first ADGMIN meeting also adopted the Putrajaya Declaration on ‘ASEAN: A Digitally Connected Community’ to build a digitally-ready and connected ASEAN to help businesses and citizens benefit from opportunities presented by the digital economy.

Dato Seri Setia Awang Abdul Mutalib shared Brunei Darussalam’s priority on digital transformation as the primary approach in recovering from impacts of COVID-19 and towards achieving sustainable growth.

Critical to digital transformation is cybersecurity, which requires significant regional attention and priority. Inspired by the theme of ASEAN 2021, ‘We Care, We Prepare and We Prosper’.

The Minister of Transport and Infocommunications also highlighted that digital transformation and cybersecurity have the potentials and possibilities to boost productivity, efficiency and quality of life.

The first ADGMIN also held meetings with dialogue partners People’s Republic of China, Japan, Republic of Korea (ROK), Republic of India, United States of America (US) and International Telecommunication Union (ITU). The ministers commended on the progress and development made with regard to cooperation with the dialogue partners.

The first ADGMIN was preceded by the first ASEAN Digital Senior Officials Meeting (first ADGSOM) held on January 19 and 20.

Deputy Permanent Secretary (Infocommunications, Cybersecurity, Strategy and Corporate) at the MTIC Haji Hairul Mohd Daud bin Haji Abdul Karim led Brunei’s delegation to the first ADGSOM joined by officers from MTIC and AITI.