The COVID-19 pandemic acted as a catalyst for the ASEAN region, prompting a focus on accelerating its development agenda by incorporating the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) into its recovery strategy. In response to the crisis, ASEAN developed the Consolidated Strategy on the Fourth Industrial Revolution for ASEAN in 2021, providing policy guidance to build an ASEAN digital community and maximise the benefits of digital transformation. The ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework (ACRF) and the Ha Noi Declaration on the ASEAN Community's Post-2025 Vision recognise the need to accelerate inclusive digital transformation to address emerging opportunities and social challenges.
During the 28th ASCC Council Meeting, ASEAN Member States reaffirmed their commitment to building resilience and preparing for future challenges in the new era. The meeting emphasised the importance of digital transformation in education, with Thailand, the incoming ASEAN education sector chair for 2024, highlighting the theme “Transforming Education to Fit the Digital Era.”
Indonesia stressed ASCC’s commitment to accessibility and the future of education, while Malaysia highlighted national policies such as the National Digital Economy Blueprint for digitalisation. Brunei emphasised the role of digital transformation in uplifting the livelihoods of cultural and creative workers, and the Philippines urged capitalising on global technological advancements for a high-performing, people-centred civil service and good governance.
In the coming years, ASCC aims to collaborate with other pillars and Member States to ensure digital policies and initiatives benefit the entire ASEAN population, fostering a safe environment for all, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, or economic status. With a collective effort, ASEAN is poised to leverage digital transformation for a stronger and more inclusive future.