|ASEAN Post-COVID Digital Policy Priorities - How do COVID-19 and emerging economic drivers change ASEAN digital policy priorities? - 03/04/2023
|International and Regional Organizations | International
|The economies of ASEAN span the full spectrum from high income to middle income to emerging. This inevitably means that they have different economic and social policy priorities. Nonetheless, all the nations of ASEAN have important common characteristics: they are located in one of the most economically regions of the world and they are relatively dependent on international trade. In a very real sense, the region is even more economically dynamic than it was in the pre-COVID period. COVID-19 disrupted both global and regional economic growth and international trade and supply chains. It made many countries aware, for the first time, of their dependency on distant nations for vital supplies. COVID also exacerbated emerging geopolitical tensions that have precipitated a decisive move towards economic decoupling from autocratic regimes particularly in the United States. The combination of existing digital development characteristics and each nations’ digital policy objectives will interact to determine each nations’ digital development priorities. For example, some nations need to urgently make available and allocate additional spectrum, some need to prioritise infrastructure investment for less well served regions, and others need to be focused on building digital skills and literacy.