KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 26 — The Association of South-east Asian Nations (Asean) and South Korea should look at strengthening cooperation in digital transformation that would help boost Asean economy, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.
In his intervention during the 22nd Asean-Republic of Korea (ROK) Summit held via videoconference today, he said South Korea is highly regarded as a world-leader in digital technologies and its application to drive productivity.
The event was held in conjunction with the 38th and 39th Asean Summit and Related Summits chaired by Brunei with the theme “We Care, We Prepare, We Prosper”.
“The region’s digital economy is forecast to reach US$300 billion (RM1.2 trillion) by 2025 as millions of people take up online shopping, embrace ride-share food delivery and other online services,” he said.
Correspondingly, Ismail Sabri said there is a need to address the threat of cyber-crimes which increases in tandem with digitalisation.
On this note, he said Cybersecurity Malaysia plans to organise the Asean Digital Security Professional Development & Lifelong Learning initiative, which aims to strengthen cybersecurity capabilities that would assist in mitigating cyber threats in the region.
“Malaysia looks forward to the support of the ROK for the proposed programme,” he said.
On Covid-19, the prime minister said the pandemic has made it imperative for Asean and South Korea to coordinate efforts in effectively managing public health emergencies and emerging diseases.
In this regard, he said Malaysia applauds the South Korea’s vaccine hub initiative that would enable the region to have fair and equitable access to affordable, safe and effective Covid-19 vaccines.
“Asean and the ROK could also collaborate on initiatives to strengthen the public health system,” he said.
Malaysia also appreciates the South Korea’s contribution of US$1 million to the Asean Covid-19 Response Fund to support Asean’s public health initiatives and the country’s assistance of US$5 million to enhance Covid-19 detection capacity project as well as sharing of information and best practice to mitigate the impacts of the pandemic. — Bernama