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A seminar on ASEAN media's views on digital China was held online on Wednesday, where experts, diplomatic envoys, entrepreneurs and media professionals from China and ASEAN countries discussed the development and cooperation prospects of the digital economy and smart cities.

The year 2022 is special for China-ASEAN relations. It is the first year of the China-ASEAN comprehensive strategic partnership. This year also marks the entry into force of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership agreement.

Wang Hao, deputy editor-in-chief of China Daily, said the digital economy and smart cities have become key cooperation areas between China and ASEAN in recent years, and cooperation achievements are constantly emerging.

"With the vigorous development of the digital economy and the wide application of digital technologies, the media is embracing new development opportunities," Wang said at the seminar titled "Digital Economy Ties, A New Chapter in Smart City", organized by China Daily and the ASEAN-China Centre.

In his opening remarks, Wang called for concerted efforts by China Daily and the media of ASEAN countries to tell the stories of China-ASEAN friendship well, as well as stories of China-ASEAN digital economy development and smart city construction.

Zhang Yong, deputy director of the Cyber Communications Bureau of the Cyberspace Administration of China, said the digital economy in China and ASEAN countries has already pressed the accelerator button, which is becoming a key force to promote economic recovery and the healthy development of the global economy.

He called for promoting further cooperation between China and ASEAN media, enterprises, and think tanks, which injects continuous vitality into the development of China-ASEAN digital economy, and high-quality construction of the Digital Silk Road.

Arthayudh Srisamoot, Thailand's ambassador to China, also highlighted digital economy as a key field of bilateral cooperation.

"In 2021, digital economy accounted for 14.1 percent of Thailand's GDP," he said.

From the installation of 5G stations to smart hospitals and a digital currency trial, these are concrete outcomes from the beneficial cooperation between Thailand and China, he said.

"Promoting the ASEAN-China digital economy partnership will help the two sides overcome current economic difficulties caused by COVID-19, gain greater growth momentum and achieve common development and prosperity," said Shi Zhongjun, secretary-general of the ASEAN-China Centre (ACC).

"The ACC will continue playing its role as a bridge between ASEAN and China to promote policy communication, expand consensus and deepen cooperation in the digital field, and make new contributions to the growth of ASEAN-China relations", he said.

Beijing and Shenzhen are among the top five cities in the digital economy, according to the 2022 China Digital Economy Development Research Report.

In recent years, Shenzhen and ASEAN countries carried out a large number of cooperations in the digital economy and smart city construction, promoting cross-border e-commerce and bilateral trade development, said Wang Chuhong, deputy director of the Publicity Department of Shenzhen and director of the Cyberspace Administration of Shenzhen.

ASEAN partners are welcomed to share the new development opportunities with Beijing and build the Digital Silk Road at a higher level, jointly promoting high-quality opening-up and development of China-ASEAN digital economy, said Tong Haiwei, chief engineer of Beijing Municipal Bureau of Economy and Information Technology.

Experts and entrepreneurs from China and ASEAN countries delivered keynote speeches, sharing experiences and professional opinions on digital economy and smart cities from their respective fields.

"Malaysia Digital is a new national strategic initiative to encourage and attract companies, talents and investment while enabling Malaysian businesses and Rakyat (people) to play a leading part in the global digital revolution and digital economy," said Raymond Siva, chief digital investment officer of Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC).

Through various initiatives carried out, such as constant state engagements and summits, the MDEC continues to actively pursue and facilitate digital investment opportunities, he said.

In 2021, the added value of core industries of Shenzhen's digital economy has exceeded 900 billion yuan ($129 billion), accounting for more than 30 percent of the city's GDP, ranking first in China, said Tao Yitao, professor and former deputy secretary of the Party Committee of Shenzhen University and dean of the Belt and Road Research Institute of Shenzhen University.

The solid and rapid development of Shenzhen's digital economy stems from the driving force of institutional innovation, she added.

The digitalization construction of the Lao section of the China-Laos Railway has adopted the solution put forward by the China Academy of Railway Science, which is a successful application of China railway information technology standard in international railway construction, said Yang Yongjie, project leader of the ITDS of the China-Laos Railway and head of the Dispatch Business Department of the China Academy of Railway Sciences.

Some of the core elements of building new communities in the metaverse are digital people, digital twins, human-computer interaction, blockchain, artificial intelligence and the internet of things, said Luo Jun, executive chairman of the Metaverse Industry Special Committee of the China Computer Industry Association and adjunct professor at Jiangsu University.

Relying on cross-border e-commerce platforms, small and medium-sized enterprises in RCEP members and ASEAN countries are accelerating their expansion into global markets and releasing digital dividends, said Ouyang Cheng, deputy director of AliResearch and director of the Alibaba Cross-Border E-Commerce Research Center.

The success of Smile Shop in Cambodia is due to the advanced business model, the outstanding international team and the excellent localization operation, said Jack Lee, founder and CEO of Smile Shop, the leading e-commerce platform in Cambodia.

Lazada is committed to further promote sustainable digital ecosystems in Southeast Asia, building the digital service capability with logistics, technology and payment as the core, said Xu Yinghai, cross border government affairs director of Lazada, Southeast Asia's flagship e-commerce platform.

China and ASEAN countries join hands to promote connectivity in the digital age, strengthen in-depth cooperation in the digitization of industries and digital industrialization and strive to bridge the digital divide, which will help build a new digital economy, said Huang Runzhong, chief supervisor of One Connect, Ping An Insurance (Group) Company of China.

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Quelle/Source: China Daily, 08.12.2022

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