Smart Axiata and a number of private sector representatives attended the first ASEAN Economic Ministerial Roundtable Discussion on Economic Recovery and Digital Economy Integration at the Ministry of Industry, Science, Technology and Innovation (MISTI) on November 10.
The economic damage as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic has led ASEAN to convene several meetings, including the 40th and 41st ASEAN Summits’ ministerial dialogue in Cambodia.
The roundtable discussion, hosted by MISTI, demonstrates the cooperation and commitment of ASEAN nations, research institutions, the private sector and key development partners, such as the World Bank, Asian Development Bank and Global Entrepreneurship Network, to revitalise economies after the pandemic.
Moderated by HE Dr Sok Siphana, senior advisor to the Cambodian government, the dialogue emphasised the importance of digital inclusion for all customers and business entities.
Creating new digital citizens is seen as fundamental to the digital economy and economic growth.
These digital citizens must have the skills and knowledge to understand data and the latest technologies, and they need to be confident with digital payments, which enable online shopping, online studying and digital business operations.
These transformations are to be steered and actively supported by all market players, those in the public and private spheres, various industries and different countries.
The private sector's role in the post-pandemic economic recovery and the restart of socioeconomic activity in the ASEAN region was also emphasised by the Cambodian government.
The involvement of the private sector fosters an inclusive, resilient, competitive, sustainable and equitable economy, while also deepening the bloc’s economic integration.
Mila Kusheva, chief marketing officer at Smart Axiata, who took part in the conversation, said: "It is an honour to be involved. This is Smart Axiata's first time participating in an ASEAN ministerial dialogue.
"It presents a unique opportunity for the private sector to understand the viewpoints of ministers and senior officials on policies related to economic recovery in ASEAN and digital economy integration, as well as to contribute the private sector’s viewpoints in building frameworks for a sustainable and resilient economy. We hope to take part in more events like this in the future.”
ASEAN member states have proven to have robust, positive policies and legal frameworks for the private sector to encourage investment and further develop infrastructure, services and products for businesses and customers.
HE Cham Prasidh, minister of Industry, Science, Technology and Innovation, said: “The achievements Cambodia has made to date are the results of cooperation from the private sector, research institutes, national and international organisations, development partners, friendly countries and the Cambodian people in particular.
"In this regard, Cambodia would like to join all ASEAN Member States in supporting the need for speeding up the study for the digital economy framework agreement to examine areas that can be included in a framework to accelerate ASEAN’s digital integration towards a regionally integrated economy.” PHOTO SUPPLIED