Asia Pacific

Trust a key element to propel the digital economy: Asia Pacific ICT ministers (Straits Times)

(From left) Asia-Pacific Telecommunity (APT) secretary-general Areewan Haorangsi, President Halimah Yacob and Communications and Information Minister S. Iswaran at APT’s 40th anniversary celebrations.
Photo: MCI/Straits Times

The efforts to harness digital technologies to create new opportunities must be anchored in trust so that individuals, businesses and governments can engage in the new digital economy with confidence, top officials from the Asia-Pacific regions agreed on Wednesday (June 26).

This digital push must also address the issue of personal data protection across borders, cyber security and the trust that new technologies such as artificial intelligence could be used to do good for society.

The statement follows a two-day meeting in Singapore where telecommunications and Infocommunications Technology (ICT) ministers from 32 countries and territories set out five strategic goals for the sector in the next five years.

Among the goals, digital trust was singled out as a key area that members must be committed to work on.

“We aim to encourage trusted and secured systems which promote the protection of data privacy, facilitate free and secure flow of information, and are resilient towards cyber threats so that people can engage in online activities with confidence and openly share information online,” said the Asia Pacific Telecommunity (APT), an intergovernmental organisation focused on regional cooperation in telecommunications and ICT.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the organisation.

At a press briefing after the close of the meeting, Singapore’s Communications and Information Minister S. Iswaran told reporters: “When we are talking about the digital economy and the benefits that the new facilities and services that are being enabled, the flip-side and the tempering consideration is the implications of security and how we ensure trust.”

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Straits Times

26 June 2019

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