11 July 2024

Jakarta – To promote digital innovation and sustainable economic growth in East Asia, ASEAN’s research think-tank, the Economic Research Institute of ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA), launched the Digital Innovation and Sustainable Economic Centre (DISC) in Jakarta on August 24, 2023

The event was presided over by Airlangga Hartarto, Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs, and Professor Tetsuya Watanabe, President of ERIA. Indonesia is the current ASEAN chair, which has pledged to boost the region’s digital capacity in all respects.

Airlangga said that that DISC will serve as a virtual and physical platform for policymakers, businesses and academic professionals on which to transform the economy to digitally driven sustainable growth across the region.

“The launch of DISC marks a pivotal juncture in ASEAN’s journey towards a digitally empowered future,” stated Prof Tetsuya Watanabe, President of ERIA.

The new centre has been set up in response to the ongoing digital transformation that has revolutionised traditional business paradigms. DISC embodies this digital renaissance, uniting the brightest minds in technology, innovation and sustainability to forge solutions that will drive the region’s economy.

Dr. Lili Yan Ing, ERIA Lead Advisor Southeast Asia Region, pointed out that, by facilitating collaborations, knowledge sharing and transformative initiatives, DISC empowers businesses, policymakers, academics and organisations in harnessing the power of digital technologies for sustainable economic growth, social development and environmental stewardship.

The development of digitalization, like that of any other technology, can drive social progress only when it can empower human productivity, according to Dr. Lurong Chen, ERIA Senior Economist. “An open, trustworthy and democratic cyberspace helps people acquire knowledge and fosters human development.”

The new centre’s three priorities are the promotion of digital trade, data governance and innovation and entrepreneurship. In addition, DISC will foster public-private dialogue, catalyse regional open innovation, nurture technologically savvy talent and provide practical policy proposals.

The launch of DISC is a landmark moment in the region’s digital evolution. By combining digital innovation with sustainable economic strategies, DISC is poised to accelerate ASEAN’s integration into the global digital landscape.