China, ASEAN to boost cooperation in digital economy
China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) plan to boost cooperation in digital economy, according to Xu Ningning, executive director of the China-ASEAN Business Council.
Xu made the comment while attending the 16th China-ASEAN Expo, which was held in Nanning, Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region from Sept 21 to 24.
"Cooperation in digital economy is of great interest to ASEAN countries, which have repeatedly proposed building smart cities at China-ASEAN leaders' meetings," he said.
Smart cities are capable of evaluating natural disasters such as floods, debris flows, or landslides very quickly, allowing relevant departments to respond more effectively. This is particularly important in Southeast Asia, where natural disasters occur frequently but countries have limited capacity to cope with them.
Digital economy cooperation with China could also become a new driver of growth for ASEAN economies, noted Xu. The average GDP growth rate among ASEAN countries this year is expected to be 4.9 percent, lower than the previous year.
Less than half the populations in six ASEAN countries (Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Myanmar, and Laos) use the internet, and coupled with an underdeveloped internet retail industry and third-party mobile payment services, the development of the digital economy in ASEAN has a lot of potential.
A number of Chinese enterprises have already reached cooperation agreements with ASEAN countries.
Inspur's cloud computing services are being used in governmental and educational sectors in ASEAN countries such as Thailand, Myanmar, and Malaysia, while Sugon has established a holding subsidiary in Guangxi to provide better services for the development of cloud computing, big data, and smart cities in ASEAN countries.
According to Xu, building a new cooperation mechanism for digital trade is the main priority for future China-ASEAN digital economy cooperation.
5G applications are showcased at the Exhibition of Advanced Technologies of the 16th China-ASEAN Expo held in Nanning, Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, from Sept 21 to 24. [Photo/caexpo.org]