China-ASEAN Year of Digital Economy Cooperation Kicks Off

China-ASEAN Year of Digital Economy Cooperation Kicks Off

China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) kicked off a new era on Friday as they launched the China ASEAN Year of Digital Economy Cooperation via teleconference.

Leaders from China and ten ASEAN countries sat together online to discuss closer cooperation in digital economy amid the COVID-19 pandemic on Friday. 

Congratulatory letters were sent by China’s premier and Vietnam’s prime minister. Vietnam is the holder of this year’s ASEAN rotating presidency.

Each country’s information technology minister expressed their will to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and restore the economy. 

China’s experiences were shared, including providing medical equipment, optimizing diagnoses and meeting people’s demands in daily lives through digital technologies. 

Miao Wei, Chinese minister of industry and information technology, said China is ready to continue to share its experiences with ASEAN countries, and reach the full potential of a digital economy.

“Let us give positive contributions to protecting our people’s lives, aiding economic recovery and bolstering sustainable growth,” said Miao. 

Dato Lim Jock Hoi, secretary-general of ASEAN, expressed the same wish. 

“Since the road to recovery is uncertain, ASEAN and China should intensify information exchange on expertise, best practices, and innovative technologies to effectively address pandemic crisis issues while keeping the economy alive and markets functioning,” he said. 

Currently, almost half of China and ASEAN countries’s population are mobile users. And both sides in recent years have been expanding comprehensive cooperation.

Experts say these will lay a solid foundation for the deeper development of the digital economy in retail sale, transportation, manufacturing, finance and agriculture. 

After Friday’s opening ceremony, a series of activities will be held, covering smart cities, big data and artificial intelligence.

And experiences will be shared on pandemic control and prevention through digitalized methods, as well as digital infrastructure construction and economy transformation.

They will also try to reach a consensus and form a document to guide future China-ASEAN digital economy cooperation by the end of the year.