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ASEAN needs level playing field for 5G ecosystem: AEC Deputy-Secretary General

2020.03.02

Dr. Aladdin D. Rillo, Deputy Secretary-General for the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) said ASEAN needs level playing field for 5G ecosystem

[Kuala Lumpur, March 2, 2020] ASEAN has to ensure a level playing field to develop a 5G ecosystem for its digital transformation, according to Dr. Aladdin D. Rillo, Deputy Secretary-General for the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), during his courtesy visit to the Huawei Cyber Security Transparency Center in Brussels, Belgium. 
“We’re very much committed to ensuring that market players like Huawei are engaged, because these private sector players are very important in terms of the ability to build the right infrastructure and develop the ecosystem,” said the Deputy Secretary-General. 

“The world is very inter-connected and integrated. We have to help each other and work together towards our common goals. Any distraction from that will not be beneficial to any player,” he added.

Towards the digital intelligent world, which is predicted to be realized in 2030, the ASEAN Economic Community expressed its commitment to encourage the country members in the region to accelerate their digital transformation in various industry sectors, and to engage with different stakeholders to improve competency in the global competition. 

 “There has been a strong emphasis on the digitalization in ASEAN. To do that, we need to have the right infrastructure,” said Dr. Rillo. “This year, under the chairmanship of Vietnam, we’re looking specifically at 5G, which is an important foundation for us to support digital transformation and market integration.”

"With ASEAN's digital economy has surged to USD100 billion for the first time in 2019 and is expected to grow beyond USD300 billion by 2025, for governments, business, and society, digital transformation is no longer just an option, but a necessity for economic and business empowerment," he added.

The ASEAN region is currently experiencing rapid growth of the Internet, digital, social media and mobile activities with 65% of Internet penetration which means that there are more than 400 million Internet users.  As the Internet penetration is experiencing double-digit growth in most segments and most countries of the region, the digital sector is booming and attracting a lot of interests. Cybersecurity implementation at this juncture of time is particularly necessary as internet penetration in the region is at its highest and will continue to grow.

"Therefore, we continue to encourage ASEAN’s countries to strengthen the cooperation, and we also need support from private players that have proven capable of delivering reliable and leading technologies, such as Huawei, especially in building innovation-friendly ecosystem, and to answer relevant issues related to big data, data privacy and cybersecurity," said Dr. Rillo.

According to him, cybersecurity plays a very critical role in digital transformation in ASEAN, particularly in accelerating the pace of digital economy in the region based on 5G, AI, and IoT.

"We are impressed on how Huawei carried out cyber security approaches as explained during our visit to Huawei Cyber Security Transparency Center. This further convinced us why cyber security measures are needed to optimize security in the era of the Industrial Revolution 4.0 in ASEAN," Dr. Rillo said.