Asean member states mulling digital infrastructure fund, says PM Muhyiddin

Muhyiddin Yassin (right) said member countries could also come up with an online platform to connect small and medium businesses and artisans across the region. — Bernama pic
Muhyiddin Yassin (right) said member countries could also come up with an online platform to connect small and medium businesses and artisans across the region. — Bernama pic

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KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 21 — Asean countries could consider setting up a fund as a means of improving digital and Internet infrastructure among member states.

Prime Minister Tan Sri  Muhyiddin Yassin said member countries could also come up with an online platform to connect small and medium businesses and artisans across the region, selling original goods directly to consumers, thus, easing transactions. 

“A board of trustees with members appointed from Asean countries could determine the company that will be set up, maintain and run the platform.

“As a community and as a region, Asean is now more important than ever. For countless generations, we, the people of Southeast Asia, have traded and worked with China and Japan, as well as the United States of America,” he said in a keynote speech at the Asean Digital Minsters’ Meeting and Related Meetings here, today.

The Prime Minister said these are the world’s biggest economies and also the most developed and sophisticated in the digital era.

“There may be differences and tensions across the Pacific between the United States and China, but we are happy to work with them all.

“In so doing, we stand to gain from each of these partner countries. While we hope they can cooperate better together, we should also cooperate more with each one of them,” he said.

By working through Asean Plus Three, Muhyiddin said Asean could promote digital engagements and encourage ICT investments from China, Japan and South Korea, while the best digital advances now in Northeast Asia can be writ-large for the larger East Asia.

By working with key Asean Dialogue Partners in North America, he said Asean could expand global digital best practices into the region.

“We should leverage strategically on these facets of Asean to provide the best possible opportunities for our people, in particular for our future and our younger generation,” he added. — Bernama

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