Experts from 11th ASEAN Connectivity Symposium agree that digitalization is key in every sector

By Chawanvit Panprasert, Programme Officer
7 September 2020

On 28 August 2020, Viet Nam, with the support of the ASEAN Secretariat and the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA), organized the 11th ASEAN Connectivity Symposium under the theme “Enhancing ASEAN Cohesiveness, Responsiveness through Resilient Connectivity and Human Capital Development”. The webinar drew in over 150 participants and 13 experts from ASEAN Sectoral Bodies in various sectors.

The 11th ASEAN Connectivity Symposium webinar aimed to explore the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on multilateral connectivity in the ASEAN region, the way forward to equip human capital with the necessary skills for the future of work, and the restoration of ASEAN collaborations in the post-pandemic era.

The webinar began with remarks from his excellency Ambassador Tran Duc Binh, chairperson of the ASEAN Connectivity Coordinating Committee (ACCC) and Professor Hidetoshi Nishimura, President of ERIA.

In the first session, opportunities and threats in ASEAN connectivity which arose from the pandemic were analyzed. The panelists highlighted the importance of the continuation of infrastructure building initiatives in the region with more effective strategies since the pandemic has given us a clearer picture of future collaboration.

Next, the effects of the pandemic on logistics and supply chain were explored. The suggested strategic adjustment to comply with deep contraction in businesses included massive investments in cross-border e-commerce platforms in the region.

Last, the future of education and training activities was discussed. It is very important to consider skill demand in the future of work in the curriculum of the younger generation. Also, the immediate transformation of the education sector globally is the digitalization of education and training activities, therefore, the key to building inclusive quality education is the accessibility to internet infrastructure.

The webinar has envisioned the changing future of ASEAN Connectivity after the pandemic, which was beyond anticipation, but the consensus was that one of the largest factors of change has and will come from an increase in demand and the impact of digitalization in every sector.