ASEAN Digital Community 2045Editor(s)/Author(s) : - 2 November 2023
Over the last decade, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has undergone significant development in digitalisation. The rapid digital transformation in ASEAN, however, has brought forth risks and challenges encompassing data security, cybersecurity, competition, and the digital divide. To effectively address these challenges and leverage the potential of the digital realm, ASEAN developed nine frameworks during 2016–2023. Yet, the focus is primarily on digital trade. We suggest that ASEAN embrace digital transformation by establishing the ASEAN Digital Community (ADC) 2045. This vision could provide guidance to Member States, enabling them to overcome regional challenges and unlock their digital potential. It is crucial for ASEAN to nurture digital development across the three key pillars: political-security, economic, and socio-cultural dimensions. The three pillars should be built on four fundamental elements: data governance, value-added enhancement, improved digital connectivity, and digital inclusivity. Through the establishment of ADC 2045, ASEAN could position itself as a significant player in the global digital economy while ensuring that digital transformation aligns with its sustainable and inclusive development agenda.