22 May 2024

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Commerce Jurin Laksanawisit this morning called for a strengthening of cooperation between the public and private sectors in the ASEAN countries  to face challenges from the digital revolution that is now affecting every facet of life.

Jurin said ASEAN countries have a strong potential for growth in the digital economy whose value is expected to triple in the next six years.

Addressing the second day of the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit 2019, Jurin said digital economy in the 10 ASEAN countries has seen a significant rise over the past few years, jumping in value from US$50 billion in 2017 to US$70.2 billion last year.

He attributed the growth to the expanding middle-class and the internet populations in the ASEAN countries as well as the exponential increase in the use of digital commercial tools by small and medium-sized enterprises.

However, despite its impressive growth, the contribution of the digital economy to the larger ASEAN economy still leaves much to be desired, he said, pointing out it represents only 7 per cent of the regional economy.

In comparison, he said,  in the US, EU and China, the proportions are as high as 35 per cent, 26 per cent and 17 per cent respectively.

“This only illustrates how much more the digital economy in ASEAN can grow,” he said.

He quoted reports by such world’s leading technology firms as Google and Temasek Holdings of Singapore as projecting that the value of digital economy in this region will triple to US$420 billion in the next six years.

Realizing the potential, Jurin said ASEAN countries have been working closely to promote cross-border e-commerce and to improve the legal and business environments conducive to digital economy.

While cooperating to reskill and upskill their labour forces, Jurin said ASEAN countries are also working on a strategy for the fourth industrial revolution that will cover all the three major pillars of the regional grouping.

Jurin stressed the importance of strengthening cooperation and coordination between the public and private sectors of countries in ASEAN in facing these challenges.