Joint Media Statement
1. The 3rd ASEAN Digital Ministers Meeting (ADGMIN) was held in Boracay Island, Aklan, Philippines on 9-10 February 2023. His Excellency Ivan John E. Uy, Minister of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), chaired the Meeting with His Excellency Dr Janil Puthucheary, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Communications and Information & Ministry of Health of Singapore as the Vice-Chair.
Synergy Towards a Sustainable Digital Future
2. The Meeting welcomed the progress made in the second year of the ASEAN Digital Masterplan 2025 (ADM 2025), which laid a strong foundation in accelerating the region’s digital transformation, and transforming ASEAN into a leading digital community and economic bloc, powered by secure and transformative digital services, technologies and ecosystem.
3. The Meeting encouraged ASEAN Member States to cooperate and implement, through a people-centered approach, the Desired Outcomes and Enabling Actions outlined in the ADM 2025 to timely adapt to the changes brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic and to do so in a way which is greener and sustainable.
4. The Meeting noted the outcome of the on-going implementation of the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework (ACRF) and its implementation plan in the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The Meeting also agreed to further intensify cooperation among Member States to accelerate the region’s digital transformation efforts to support the ACRF, and to make sure that Member States have access to best practices and strategies to stimulate better use of digital services for COVID-19 mitigation and recovery efforts.
5. The Meeting acknowledged the continuous plans and programs of Working Group of Digital Data Governance (WG-DDG), including capacity development efforts to promote awareness and adoption of the Model Contractual Clauses (MCCs) to help Member States understand data management and cross-border data flows to boost businesses’ ability to seize opportunities in the digital economy where data protection is an essential requirement, which will be the focus before Implementing Guidelines for the ASEAN Data Management Framework (DMF) and ASEAN
Cross Border Data Flows (CBDF) Mechanism, the initiative that was launched during the 1st ADGMIN.
6. The Meeting 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 and as a response to a newer cyber development and to ensure that there are no weak links in the collective efforts of ASEAN Network Security Action Council (ANSAC) to secure the cyberspace for the region’s digital economy and community to grow. The Meeting also welcomed the ASEAN Regional CERT Operational Framework, which will better inform the resources required for the implementation of the ASEAN Regional CERT as well as further guide CERT- related capacity building efforts through regional cybersecurity capacity building programmes conducted by the ASEAN-Singapore Cybersecurity Centre of Excellence (ASCCE) and ASEAN - Japan Cybersecurity Capacity Building Centre (AJCCBC).
7. The Meeting agreed on the approach of digital transformation that is people- centered, safe, secure and relevant to the needs of end users and various stakeholders aims at increasing the quality and use of e-government services and solutions that can connect businesses, and supporting innovation for new business models to facilitate cross-border trade and affordable access.
8. The Meeting welcome the use of emerging technologies such as the application of Blockchain Technology and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to further digital transformation while taking into consideration on the need to establish policies and regulations to spur the development of these emerging technologies towards innovative, responsible and secure ecosystem. The Meeting recognizes 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 Meeting also noted the completion of the Artificial Intelligence Landscape Study Report, and welcomed the development of an ASEAN Guide on AI Governance and Ethics in 2023.
9. The Meeting welcomed the on-going implementation of the Bandar Seri Begawan Roadmap, an ASEAN Digital Transformation Agenda to Accelerate ASEAN’s Economic Recovery and Digital Economy Integration. The Meeting looked forward to the completion of 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.
10. The Meeting recognized the progress of the development of 5G ecosystem in ASEAN and noted the recommendations of the 3rd ASEAN workshop on 5G. The Meeting encouraged Member States to work more closely in collaborating national 5G policies and in developing the ASEAN 5G Roadmap.
Digital Cooperation with Dialogue and Development Partners
11. The Meeting looked forward to further deepening the cooperation with Dialogue Partners and ITU in enhancing digital cooperation, developing human resources, exploring emerging technologies for adoption, and improving the regional capacity in securing the cyberspace in the implementation of the ADM2025.
12. The Meeting expressed appreciation to China for the joint activities in Digital Economy Development and Regulatory Policies; Emerging Technologies; Digital Technology Innovation and Application; Digital Security including the implementation of the ASEAN-China Digital Security Forum and the 2nd ASEAN- China Cyber Dialogue in 2022; and the Meeting also welcomed ASEAN-China cooperation at other multilateral platforms in 2023. Further, The Meeting noted the ASEAN-China 2023 Digital Work Plan and looked forward to strengthening collaboration activities under the Action Plan on Implementing the ASEAN-China Partnership on Digital Economy Cooperation (2021-2025), which was adopted at the 2nd ADGMIN.
13. The Meeting commemorated the 50th Year of ASEAN-Japan Friendship and Cooperation, and acknowledged Japan’s commitment in assisting ASEAN in the digital sector through the ASEAN-Japan 2022 ICT Work Plan, which covered the issues of Digital Connectivity and Infrastructure; Digital Transformation; Robustness, Reliability and Security; Digital Policy, Regulation and Standards; and Cooperation and Collaboration. The Meeting acknowledged that several important projects under ASEAN-Japan 2022 ICT Work Plan were supported under the ASEAN-Japan ICT Fund (AJICTF). In addition, the Meeting also noted that the ASEAN - Japan Cybersecurity Capacity Building Centre (AJCCBC) has accomplished its target of reskilling over 700 cybersecurity professionals from 2018 to 2022 and welcomed the start of the upcoming next phase of AJCCBC spanning from 2023 to 2027. The Meeting welcomed Japan’s active contribution in the ASEAN Digital sector under the endorsed ASEAN-Japan 2022 ICT Work Plan. The Meeting endorsed the ASEAN-Japan 2023 Digital Work Plan.
14. The Meeting expressed their gratitude to the Republic of Korea (ROK) for cooperation activities in the areas of innovation, connectivity enhancement, human resource development and information security. ROK emphasized that digital technologies should contribute to realizing the universal values of humanity and expressed its commitment to enhancing digital cooperation with ASEAN in line with Korea’s Indo-Pacific Strategy and the ASEAN-ROK Solidarity Initiative. The Meeting acknowledged the ASEAN Open Data Dictionary initiative, and its notable deliverables on the development of the ASEAN Open Data Framework; The ASEAN Open Data Dictionary and Data Portal; and the Regional Open Data Forums and welcomed the approval of the ASEAN-ROK Digital Work Plan 2023, which includes the ongoing activities of ASEAN Open Data Dictionary and ASEAN Cyber Shield Project for nurturing cybersecurity experts and building cybersecurity response capabilities.
15. The Meeting acknowledged India for the progress made in the implementation of cooperation activities in the ASEAN-India 2022 Digital Work Plan, through various knowledge sharing and capacity building programmes at the India’s reputable Centre of Excellences. The Meeting noted the plans and programs that supports the ADM2025 initiatives through the ASEAN-India 2023 Digital Work Plan at the 3rd ADGSOM+India meeting in 2023.
16. The Meeting expressed appreciation for the United States’ strong commitment to develop the digital and telecommunications sectors in ASEAN, as reflected by the ongoing assistance provided under the Digital Connectivity and Cybersecurity Partnership (DCCP), the ASEAN-USAID Inclusive Growth in ASEAN through Innovation, Trade and E-Commerce (IGNITE), ASEAN 5G Implementation Policy Guidelines, the U.S.-ASEAN Science & Technology Innovation Cooperation Program, as well as the ASEAN-U.S. Connect Digital Economy Series. The Meeting welcomed ongoing activities with the U.S.-ASEAN Business Council, including the policy dialogue through the ASEAN-U.S. Digital Policy Consultative Forum and the development of the ASEAN Cybersecurity Assessment Model (ACAM), which was endorsed by ADGSOM in November 2022. The Meeting welcomed the endorsement of the ASEAN-U.S. priority cooperation areas to accelerate the implementation of Desired Outcomes as reflected in the ASEAN Digital Masterplan 2025, and looked forward to the adoption of the ASEAN-U.S. Work Plan in early 2023.
17. The Meeting welcomed the endorsement of the ASEAN-EU 2023 Digital Workplan to strengthen the cooperation in areas of mutual interest, and appreciated the EU for the invaluable contribution extended through the Enhanced Regional EU-ASEAN Dialogue Instrument (E-READI) Facility on the delivery of the 2nd phase of the ASEAN Digital Index (ADIX) initiative. The Meeting also acknowledged the ADIX as part of the sustainable element of the ASEAN’s policymaking tool. The Meeting further welcomed the ongoing work, that has reached an advanced stage, on the ASEAN-EU Joint Guide for Model Contractual Clauses for Data Transfers, as a practical tool showing the benefits of our cooperation”.
18. The Meeting expressed appreciation to ITU for its committed support towards advancing the development of digital sector in ASEAN, specifically in the areas of Cyber and digital security; International and digital connectivity; Digital inclusion; Telecommunication and digital policies; ICT standards and good practices; Emerging technologies and innovation, Smart and sustainable city, villages, and islands solutions; Digital technologies for disaster management, climate change mitigation, emergency telecommunication, and sustainable development; Initiatives to support a creative, innovative, secure, interoperable and sustainable use of digital technologies; and other direct assistance that has been extended to individual AMS.
19. The Meeting reiterated ASEAN’s commitment to pursue policy and regulatory dialogue with all Dialogue and Development Partners. The Meeting also called for greater participation from the private sector to jointly develop digital infrastructure and services to support the growth of digitally-enabled innovative solutions to achieve inclusive and sustainable growth in the region and support the goals of the ASEAN Community.
20. The Meeting agreed to convene the 4th ADGMIN and Related Meetings in Singapore in January/February 2024.
21. The Meeting expressed appreciation to the Philippines for hosting the meetings and for the warm hospitality accorded to them and for the excellent arrangement made for the 3rd ADGMIN and Related Meetings.