Phnom Penh: With approval from the Royal Government, Minister of Post and Telecommunications Vandeth Chea along with MPTC delegates participated virtually in the first ASEAN Digital Ministers’ Meeting (ADGMIN) under the theme “ASEAN: A Digitally Connected Community” on January 21-22, 2021. The meetings featured ASEAN digital ministers, senior officials, and dialogue partners, including China, Japan, South Korea, India, the United States and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).
The objectives of this year’s ADGMIN included (1) evaluation of past and ongoing projects, (2) review and adoption of action plans for 2021 and (3) adoption of the ASEAN Digital Masterplan 2025 (available for download here: https://mptc.gov.kh/en/documents/policies/asean-digital-masterplan-2025-adm2025/). In the meetings, member states emphasized the importance of developing an inclusive and sustainable digital community in response to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and preparation for a post-pandemic world. The meetings called for alignment of polices, development of both digital technologies and infrastructure, resolving cybersecurity issues, capacity building in the region, Artificial Intelligence (AI) utilization and particularly 5G rollout plan and timeline, which would require detailed technical discussion and coordination among ASEAN countries.
Speaking at the meetings, ASEAN Digital Ministers reiterated commitment to cooperation with dialogue partners including China, Japan, South Korea, India, the U.S. and ITU in promoting digital and ICT-related projects, capacity building, new technologies adoption, strengthening cybersecurity and implementation of the ASEAN Digital Masterplan 2025.
On this occasion, Minister Chea stated that digital transformation had played an important role in minimizing the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and provided an effective solution to ensure uninterrupted administrative and business activities. Member states should continue to foster cooperation among ASEAN and dialogue partners, transforming ASEAN into a digitally connected community, narrowing the digital divide and expediting the social and economic recovery post-Covid-19. Minister Chea added that Cambodia has prioritized telecoms infrastructure, both fixed and cellular, to deliver reliable and affordable services, and promoted digital literacy among the general public.
Minister Chea remarked that Cambodia stood ready to cooperate with ASEAN member states and dialogue partners to transform the ASEAN region into a digitally connected community and leading economic bloc, powered by secure and transformative digital services, technologies and ecosystem.
The first ASEAN Digital Ministers’ Meeting, hosted virtually by Malaysia, has been renamed from the ASEAN Telecommunications Ministers Meeting (TELMIN), which was in effect from 2000 through 2019. The change in name was to reflect the global trend of digital technology and ICT. The ADGMIN is held annually with each member states taking turn hosting.