Statement by the leaders of ASEAN and the United States on digital development



WE, Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states and the United States of America met by video conference on October 26, 2021, under the chairmanship of ASEAN 2021 Brunei Darussalam, on the occasion of the 9e ASEAN-United States Summit;

TO ACKNOWLEDGE the important role smart digital development can play in creating economies resilient to the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and other economic shocks, ensuring that all sectors of the population can access economic gains and potentially enabling sustainable development, inclusive and resilient economic growth, especially during and during the post-pandemic era;

REAFFIRMING commitment to support digital development in ASEAN in order to realize our vision of a peaceful, secure, open, interoperable, reliable world and a resilient ICT environment;

NOTING that our reliance on digital infrastructure during the COVID-19 pandemic underscored the importance of accelerating the development of digital infrastructure, digital competitiveness and digital user literacy, while reducing the digital divide between and within ASEAN Member States, including women, youth and rural communities;

Underline the importance of the ASEAN Indo-Pacific Perspectives (AOIP) and the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework (ACRF) and its implementation plan to guide ASEAN towards an inclusive digital transformation by view of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) as outlined in the Consolidated Strategy for the Fourth Industrial Revolution for ASEAN, as well as to stimulate economic growth and improve society;

REMINDER the adoption of the ASEAN-U.S. leaders’ statement on cybersecurity cooperation at the 6e ASEAN-United States Summit of November 15, 2018 and subsequent convening of 1st The ASEAN-US Cyber ​​Policy Dialogue was held in Singapore on October 3, 2019 and on October 2, 2019.sd The ASEAN-US Cyber ​​Policy Dialogue was held virtually on October 8, 2021, along with the US participation in the 1st ASEAN + US Digital Ministers Meeting held virtually on January 22, 2021, as a manifestation of our commitment to advancing a shared digital future;

ADDITIONAL REMINDER the adoption of the action plan for the implementation of the ASEAN-United States strategic partnership (2021-2025) and of the ASEAN-United States joint declaration on human capital development at the 8e ASEAN-United States Summit in November 2020, which highlighted the importance of strengthening cooperation in digital literacy education, the digital economy, especially the development of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and l ” improving cybersecurity capabilities;

ADDITIONAL REMINDER the adoption of United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) resolution 71/199, which affirms that the same rights as people offline must also be protected online;

Hereby decide to:

  1. Support ASEAN’s vision for a leading digital community and economic bloc, powered by secure and transformative digital services, technologies and ecosystem, and supported by a secure and resilient cyberspace that fosters trust and sustainable growth in the digital economy;
  2. Support continued implementation of ASEAN-United States cooperation in the area of ​​cybersecurity, including through relevant mechanisms led by ASEAN, such as the intersessional meeting of the ASEAN Regional Security Forum and ICT Use (ARF ISM on ICTs Security), the ASEAN Plus Defense Ministers Meeting on Cyber ​​Security Expert Working Group (GTE ADMM-Plus on CS), as well as others platforms, including the ASEAN Ministerial Conference on Cyber ​​Security and the ASEAN-US Dialogues on Cyber ​​Policy;
  3. Support the development of ASEAN’s digital infrastructure to foster robust and inclusive economic growth and prosperity; and promote the development of a secure, resilient and innovative 5G ecosystem and networks, as well as to exchange views and experiences on cyberthreats and on the regulatory framework and technical standards that protect personal data in the light emerging technologies and their vulnerabilities;
  4. Improve the development of digital infrastructure to facilitate cooperation in disaster response in areas such as search and rescue, humanitarian assistance and disaster management in support of existing regional mechanisms and platforms;
  5. Support the implementation of the ASEAN-United States Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) and the Expanded Economic Engagement (E3) work plan, including inclusive growth of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in ASEAN through Innovation, Commerce and Electronic Commerce (IGNITE) and further cooperation through the ASEAN Digital Integration Index, states -United.-ASEAN Connect Digital Economy Series and the Digital Connectivity and Cybersecurity Partnership (DCCP), and other initiatives on digital literacy, digital development and integration;
  6. Collaborate to broaden and deepen cooperation in mutually identified areas of cooperation under the ASEAN-United States ICT work plan 2021 and to promote an open, interoperable, reliable and secure ICT environment that fosters efficiency, innovation , communication and economic prosperity, as well as promoting growth in the digital economy, including improving the ease of doing business and promoting an ecosystem conducive to business;
  7. Explore ways to accelerate economic recovery after COVID-19 by strengthening cooperation on digital trade;
  8. Explore cooperation in mutually identified areas such as smart manufacturing, blockchain applications, trade facilitation, promoting digitization and e-commerce of MSMEs, emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and 5G , digital connectivity, cross-border data flows, data governance cybersecurity, digital financial services and regional payment connectivity, and digital health, in accordance with relevant ASEAN agreements and frameworks such as the Recovery Framework ASEAN Global (ACRF), the ASEAN Digital Integration Framework (DIFAP) Action Plan 2019-2025, the ASEAN Agreement on Electronic Commerce and the ASEAN Digital Master Plan ASEAN 2025 (ADM2025), as well as increasing technical assistance, including new and emerging technologies for ASEAN member states;
  9. Support the development of interoperable digital solutions to facilitate safe and smooth travel in the region, and the consideration of digital health certificate solutions for COVID-19 testing and vaccinations;
  10. Strengthen cooperation on low-carbon energy transformation, especially digitization in the energy sector, in line with the ASEAN-US Energy Cooperation Workplan 2021-2025. Explore collaboration on digital solutions, smart grids and the integration of renewable energy systems in the region;
  11. Explore possible platforms for collaboration on digital development, including through the Digital Connectivity and Cybersecurity Partnership, US-ASEAN Smart City Partnership Programs, cybersecurity capacity building initiatives conducted through the ASEAN-Singapore Cyber ​​Security Center of Excellence (ASCCE) and ASEAN-Japan Cyber ​​Security Capacity Building Center (AJCCBC), USAID assistance in digital literacy and digital entrepreneurship in other areas, and the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) program to educate young people and support entrepreneurship, as well as cooperation with other regional partners;
  12. Explore further cooperation to bridge the digital divide and ICT development gaps within ASEAN, including for least developed countries (LDCs), by developing digital skills, to include best practices in cybersecurity , market-driven approaches and exchange of views on best regulatory practices, while promoting the importance of performance, safety and resilience in new generation ICT networks;
  13. Exchange views and best practices on the responsible design, development and deployment of artificial intelligence (AI) and promote partnerships for AI research and development (R&D) while supporting the activities of capacity building on responsible use of AI;
  14. Support the improvement of digital inclusion in the region, including for women, young entrepreneurs and vulnerable or marginalized groups as part of increasing their participation in the economy by promoting digital and financial inclusion in MSMEs, capacity building activities, facilitating access to finance and alternative financing, mentoring, technical assistance, technology and sharing of best practices;
  15. Improve collaboration with stakeholders, including the US-ASEAN Business Council (USABC), the ASEAN-US Digital Policy Consultative Forum and the ASEAN Telecommunications Regulators’ Council (ATRC) Stakeholders Consultative Dialogue to develop the region’s digital ecosystem that is conducive to the growth of innovation digital and trade, as well as investments in the digital sector, the development of ICT infrastructure and support for the digitization of MSMEs;
  16. Strengthen human capital development in ASEAN, including promoting digital skills and literacy, as well as 21st century in basic education, technical and vocational education and training (TVET) through the ASEAN TVET Council (ATC), and higher education, and human resource development towards 4IR and the development of standards and quality of the workforce to meet the demands of the world of the labor market, requalification and development for employment, including digital skills for the benefit of the inhabitants of the region;
  17. Encourage partnerships between universities and TVET institutions in ASEAN Member States and the United States on curriculum exchanges and vocational training in the areas of business administration, science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and other related fields;
  18. Support the next generation of ASEAN leaders in the tech and digital sectors by offering scholarships through the Billion Futures program and through YSEALI programs that promote human capital development, including the YSEALI Academy at Fulbright University Viet Nam; and
  19. Cooperate with the private sector as well as with relevant stakeholders in the implementation of this joint declaration.

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