It is refreshing to see a young and vibrant audience today. You are truly the key to our economic recovery and the catalyst for economic growth in ASEAN. Digital start–ups attract talent, funding, catalyse local innovation and most importantly create jobs. You are therefore essential in our vision to further grow our start–up ecosystems and ultimately our economy.
Amid these opportunities, the tech scene still faces several challenges. ASEAN Member States (AMS) have varying degrees of digital readiness, and digital start–ups are so far concentrated within a few AMS. As such, there is a need to identify key factors that would promulgate and foster start–up ecosystems across the AMS.
To this end, the ASEAN Digital Master Plan 2025 places the development and growth of digital start–ups in ASEAN as a high priority agenda. This framework highlights the key success factors in developing digital start–ups – quality talent, education curriculum, incentives, regulatory environment and digital infrastructure. I very much look forward to your feedback on these key success factors to help us come up with relevant policy framework for digital start–ups in the region.
- First, the ASEAN Trust Mark Scheme for e–Commerce. will support the ASEAN governments to create a dynamic e–commerce environment through sharing of best practices in legal compliance, data handling, consumer protection, and anti–counterfeiting, which will help boost consumer confidence in ASEAN e–commerce companies. As one of the Priority Economic Deliverable (PED) under the Cambodia’s Chairmanship this year, ASEAN Member States are working together to deliver policy recommendations to move forward with this initiative.
- Second, ASEAN is now working on mainstreaming the Digital Business ID and establishing a regionally comparable and recognised Unique Business Identification Number (UBIN) for businesses in AMS and the region. Through this initiative, we recognize that a trusted regional digital identity system for companies will help promote cross–border trade, expansion activity, and access to finance in the region.
- Lastly, ASEAN has launched the linkage of the Real–Time Retail Payment System (RT–RPS) between Singapore and Thailand in April 2021, with higher–than–expected take–up volume. This will be followed by the Malaysia–Singapore linkages targeted for launching in Q4 2022. With this progress in digital financial services and regional payment connectivity, we hope that this can be expanded into a wider network of interconnected RT–RPS linkages across the region. This initiative will contribute to ASEAN’s digitalisation drive and financial inclusion by taking advantage of cellular phones to increase market access and banking services to consumers and MSMEs in far flung areas where services are limited.
Ladies and Gentlemen, let me take this opportunity to thank you for your participation. I truly believe that ASEAN has come far, and its best years are still ahead of it. I encourage you to keep innovating to solve social problems, meet the needs of people, and work toward developing sustainable solutions for the future. I strongly believe that through regular engagements between public and private sector to share ideas and knowledge, we can accelerate the digital transformation and create an effective, integrated, secured and inclusive digital ecosystem in ASEAN.
Thank you very much, and I wish you a very fruitful discussion during this event.