In his remarks, Deputy Secretary-General for ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) Satvinder Singh noted that ‘digital transformation is accelerating in the region, driven by our young demography, rising middle class, and fast-growing industry.’’ ‘’Although representing only 7% of ASEAN’s GDP, the region’s digital economy is expected to accelerate, with uptake further boosted by the necessity during the pandemic,’’ he added.

Welcoming the development of the Consolidated Strategy, supported by the ASEAN-Australia Development Cooperation Programme Phase II (AADCP II), Australian Ambassador to ASEAN Will Nankervis stated that ‘’Australia stands ready to assist the implementation of this critical piece of work, and look forward to exploring the potential for alignment between ASEAN and Australia’s 4IR visions, policies, and initiatives.’’

ASEAN recognises the need for appropriate policy responses to the 4IR amidst growing number of 4IR-related initiatives and the COVID-19 pandemic, which has accelerated digital transformation in the region. To that end, the 4IR Consolidated Strategy will articulate ASEAN’s 4IR agenda and directions, and serve as one of the building blocks for ASEAN Post-2025 work.

At the workshops, officials and stakeholders discussed the latest draft of ASEAN’s 4IR Consolidated Strategy, including its visions, strategic framework, and priorities. Key to the development of the Consolidated Strategy is to ensure concrete, forward-looking, actionables are identified and implemented as the follow-up, focusing on providing for an enabling regulatory environment, boosting competitiveness, and promoting inclusion through skills and capacity development.

This workshop is part of ASEAN’s consultation process organised towards the development of the Consolidated Strategy on the 4IR. Identified as one of cross-pillar deliverables of Brunei Darussalam’s ASEAN Chairmanship this year, the Consolidated Strategy is expected to contribute to the region’s recovery efforts and its overall long-term resilience.

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