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Digital transformation key in strength of China-ASEAN friendship | Updated: 2022-12-08 19:08
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A seminar on ASEAN media's views on digital China is held online on Dec 7, 2022. [Photo/]

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.

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