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Malaysia to roll out new digital information-sharing platform

Image Credits: New Strait Times, Online News Article

Malaysia is pushing towards a few key deliverables, among which is the establishment of the APEC COVID-19 LIVE, a digital information-sharing platform among the 21-member economies, the Senior Officer Meeting (SOM) Chair said.

The APEC COVID-19 LIVE platform aims to capture the policy interventions, measures, programmes, and initiatives adopted by APEC Economies to address the health crisis. It aims to expedite economic rebound by developing a coordinated approach to collecting and sharing information on policies and measures, including stimulus packages for the immediate responses to the economic crisis and long-term recovery packages.

In addition to the COVID-19 LIVE, other key deliverables and outcome documents have been included in the agenda, including the establishment of the Sub-fund for APEC Cooperation on Combating COVID-19 and Economic Recovery, he said.

The call to prioritise work on this front for Senior Officials have been instructed by Ministers’ Responsible for Trade (MRT), he said in his opening remark at the Second Virtual SOM meeting. The Chair stated that it was of utmost importance for the group to collectively come to an agreement on this proposal and ensure that the digital platform is materialised before the APEC Economic Leaders Meeting (AELM).

The other agendas are the APEC Internet and Digital Economy Roadmap (AIDER) Work Programme, final assessment on Bogor Goals, APEC Connectivity Blueprint Mid-term Review, and final assessment of APEC Strategy for Strengthening Quality Growth.

The group must work swiftly to complete the pending tasks associated with these documents to enable them to reflect the relevant key achievements in the Leaders’ Declaration. With little time left before the AELM, the Senior Official of respective member economies were called upon to embrace the spirit of cooperation and collaboration in concretising the deliverables.

According to another report, the Second Virtual Senior Officials’ Meeting (VSOM2) chaired by the Deputy Secretary-General under the Ministry of International Trade and Industry was held on 29 September 2020. The virtual meeting is a sign of Malaysia’s commitment as the host of APEC 2020. The deliverables that are crucial for Apec 2020 were the main focus, with only 53 more days to the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting (AELM). Discussions were centred around the Apec programme’s workflow to ensure that deadlines were met.

The 2017 APEC Internet and Digital Economy Roadmap, the APEC Leaders formally recognized the role of the Internet Economy in promoting innovative development and increasing economic participation in 2014.

They endorsed the APEC Initiative of Cooperation to Promote Internet Economy and instructed Ministers and officials to discuss the Internet Economy further, promote member economies’ cooperation on developing the Internet Economy, and facilitate technological and policy exchanges to bridge the digital divide.

The APEC Roadmap on Internet and Digital Economy builds on previous initiatives and is a framework that provides guidance on key areas and actions to facilitate technological and policy exchanges among member economies and to promote innovative, inclusive and sustainable growth, as well as to bridge the digital divide in the APEC region.

Given the evolving nature of the Internet and Digital Economy, these areas should not be seen as capturing the full nature of the Internet and Digital Economy. This Roadmap is a living document that will advise APEC working groups on potential areas of cooperation and an important contribution to further promote the development and growth of the Internet and Digital Economy in APEC. Acknowledging the variety of economic and social circumstances across APEC economies while recognizing the cross-cutting nature of the Internet and Digital Economy, APEC Economies will concentrate, but not limit, their work on the following key focus areas.

  1. Development of digital infrastructure
  2. Promotion of Interoperability
  3. Achievement of universal broadband access
  4. Development of holistic government policy frameworks for the Internet and Digital Economy
  5. Promoting coherence and cooperation of regulatory approaches affecting the Internet and Digital Economy
  6. Promoting innovation and adoption of enabling technologies and services
  7. Enhancing trust and security in the use of ICTs
  8. Facilitating the free flow of information and data for the development of the Internet and Digital Economy, while respecting applicable domestic laws and regulations
  9. Improvement of baseline Internet and Digital Economy measurements
  10. Enhancing the inclusiveness of Internet and Digital Economy
  11. Facilitation of E-commerce and Advancing Cooperation on Digital Trade

With regards to implementation, Senior Officials will have overall responsibility for monitoring and evaluating progress under the APEC Internet and Digital Economy Roadmap including implementation of the above Key Focus Areas by the relevant fora and sub-fora. Senior Officials will report periodically to Ministers on progress and seek further guidance given the evolving nature of the Internet and Digital Economy.

Critical event management has come to the fore with the pandemic. Forecasting, planning and management of critical events help organisations and authorities prevent disruption of life and damage to property.

Governments rely on several, specific systems for critical event management. Such programmes are essential to national well-being especially with the increase in natural disasters. But, more often than not, they operate in isolation of each other. According to world experts in Critical Event Management – Everbridge, this siloed approach can create duplication in information and processes, data contradictions and, when unchecked, could lead to loss of life and damages.

Everbridge’s Coronavirus Preparedness can make a significant difference in mitigating harm caused by the pandemic. They provide richer intelligence and correlating threats with locations of assets and people ensuring more rapid and comprehensive incident assessment and remediation.

With the pandemic forecast to be around for some time, planning responses to adverse events must continue alongside COVID-19 management. In light of this, it is expedient for governments to re-look at their systems, tools, processes and platforms they have in place to manage critical events.

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