U.S. Companies Engage with ASEAN Digital Ministers and Senior Officials to Discuss Digital Policy Trends and Opportunities

(Boracay, Philippines) – On February 7-10, the US-ASEAN Business Council (US-ABC) conducted its flagship Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sectoral mission on the sidelines of 3rd ASEAN Digital Ministers’ Meeting (ADGMIN) in Boracay, Philippines. The delegation was led by Amb. Michael W. Michalak, Senior Vice President and Regional Managing Director of US-ABC, and the Council’s ICT Committee Chair, Mr. Seow Hiong Goh, Executive Director of Global Policy & Government Affairs in the Asia Pacific of Cisco Systems, Inc. 

The delegation had productive engagements with ASEAN Digital Ministers and Senior Officials. The Council presented its ICT workplan and initiatives at the ADGMIN + U.S. Plenary and ADGSOM + U.S. Consultative meetings, and bilaterally engaged with several ADGMIN and ADGSOM officials. They include: Secretary-General Dr. Kao Kim Hourn - ASEAN Secretariat, Minister Fahmi Fadzil - Ministry Communications and Digital of Malaysia, Secretary Ivan John Uy - ADGMIN Chair and Secretary of the Department of Information and Communications Technology of the Philippines, Secretary of State Keo Sothie - Ministry of Post and Telecommunications of Cambodia, Director-General Semuel Abrijani Pangerapan - Ministry of Communication and Information Technology of Indonesia (KOMINFO) and Permanent Secretary Professor Wisit Wisitsora-at - Ministry of Digital Economy and Society Thailand.

The Council also interacted with the U.S. Government delegation led by the recently-established U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Cyberspace and Digital Policy, Ambassador-at-Large Nathaniel Fick, and bilaterally met with Deputy Assistant Secretary Steve Lang.

On February 9, the Council hosted a successful luncheon meeting with the participation of ADGMIN and ADGSOM, U.S. Government, and ASEAN Dialogue Partners representatives with the scenic Boracay beachscape as a backdrop.

In these engagements, the Council emphasized the importance of how the private sector can support ASEAN’s push towards greater digitalization and leveraging of digital trends and emerging technology. In particular, during the luncheon the Council presented various key ICT trends for crucial areas such as digital connectivity, cybersecurity, and artificial intelligence. The Council also highlighted industry efforts to advance ADGMIN’s focus on human-centered development, presenting examples of various digital skills capacity building initiatives that U.S. industry has been implementing in the region in recent years.

“ASEAN is set to capitalize on a wide range of opportunities presented by the digital economy and emerging technologies. Digitalization is enabling businesses to innovate, scale up, and unlock a whole new world of opportunities,” said Ambassador Michael W. Michalak. “U.S. industry seeks to support ASEAN’s efforts to unlock these economic benefits through an inclusive, human-centered approach.”

“The continued coordination between ASEAN member states during the annual ADGMIN meetings is essential to the success of ASEAN’s digital economy. U.S. industry is glad to provide support to these efforts and engage with key country leaders and stakeholders to help shape a conducive environment that will create a sustainable digital ecosystem for the region,” said Seow Hiong Goh, the Council’s ICT Committee Chair. “The discussions this week were fruitful and productive in moving our region towards a more successful digital future.”

The delegation also drew attention to U.S. industry support of regional frameworks under development, including the ASEAN Digital Economy Framework Agreement (DEFA) and the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF), emphasizing the need for resilient regulatory frameworks that are in alignment with global best practices, enhance regulatory harmonization, promote cross-border data flows, and foster innovation.

US-ABC is recognized for these efforts in the ADGMIN + U.S. Joint Media Statement for the 3rd ADGMIN.

Companies participating in the mission include: AIG, Amazon Web Services, Apple, Cisco, Crowell & Moring International, Meta, and S&P Global. 


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About US-ASEAN Business Council

Since 1984, the US-ASEAN Business Council has been the premier advocacy organization for U.S. corporations operating within the dynamic Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Worldwide, the Council's membership of nearly 170 companies generates almost US$7 trillion in revenue and employs more than 14.5 million people.  Today our members include the largest U.S. companies conducting business in ASEAN and range from newcomers to the region to companies that have been working in Southeast Asia for more than 100 years. The Council has nine offices around the globe, in Washington, DC; New York, NY; Bangkok, Thailand; Hanoi, Vietnam; Jakarta, Indonesia; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Manila, Philippines; Singapore; and Yangon, Myanmar.


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