Sunday 04 Jun 2023
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KUALA LUMPUR (July 3): The digital economy will be a vital part of Southeast Asia's recovery plan from Covid-19, said the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) secretary-general Datuk Lim Jock Hoi.

“The digital economy is critical. As you know, the pandemic has forced a lot of people to use digital technology, and it is very refreshing to see that every one of us has adapted,” he said during CIMB Asean Research Institute’s (CARI) webinar titled “How Can ASEAN Bounce Back: Can the ASEAN Economic Community Retain its Vision in a Post-Pandemic World”.

“In future, the economic driver will very much be in this area. We are looking at how best to use this as part of our post-pandemic recovery plan,” he added.

“Of course, there are other areas where I think we are looking at as part and parcel to help the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), especially in the informal sector, in terms of how to revive them so that they can have their livelihoods back after the pandemic,” he added.

According to him, work on a recovery plan between the countries in the bloc are underway.

“As you know, Asean leaders also agree to have this comprehensive recovery plan, which is a holistic, pragmatic, sustainable and resilient,” he said.

He added that the regional supranational organisation is addressing the issue with a “cross-sector of bodies and cross-sector of pillars”.

Lim said he hoped that the plan would contribute to the bloc’s economic recovery, not only in terms of lives but also in terms of the socio-economic development and advancement of the region.

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