|ICT Update | July 5, 2018
Authors: Matt Solomon, Kim Yaeger, Shay Wester, Riley Smith, Ella Duangkaew, Ryan DelGaudio, and Mianmian Fei
August, 2018: Second ASEAN-US Digital Policy Consultative Forum: The Council will host its second roundtable discussion of the ASEAN-US Digital Policy Consultative Forum on the side lines of the 2018 ASEAN TELSOM Leaders’ meeting in Singapore, the week of August 13. The discussion agenda topics to be included in the second Forum are currently being formulated. For more information about the Forum, please contact Shay Wester at email@example.com or Mario Masaya at firstname.lastname@example.org.
|THE COUNCIL'S TAKE|
ASEAN Concludes Regional E-Commerce Negotiations
From July 1 through July 5, the ASEAN Coordinating Committee on Electronic Commerce (ACCEC) held its final rounds of negotiation before the upcoming Senior Economic Officials’ Meeting (SEOM). While negotiations have occurred at a slow pace, Singapore, serving as the Chair of ASEAN, has pushed for their conclusion this year. The Agreement is modeled after the e-commerce chapter in the ASEAN-Australian-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (AANZFTA) and contains sections promoting trade facilitation, the free flow of data across borders, as well as the adoption of international best practices for cyber security (click here to access Chapter 10 of the AANZFTA).
Many of the provisions in the Agreement are vague and non-binding. For example, while the Logistics chapter of the Agreement pledges for members to share and engage in best practices, it does not contain substantive measures or guidelines for countries to follow. Additionally, the Agreement includes a commitment to minimize barriers to cross-border data flows but omits any operative clauses for its realization. Despite these challenges, the private sector has been working diligently to support a vibrant digital economy in ASEAN. Last summer, the Council joined a consultation with the ACCEC to encourage forward-looking approaches to logistics upgrades, customs clearance, and other pertinent issues. While the payments gateway remains a problem, the negotiators have taken positive steps to recognize international frameworks on technology policy.
The growing importance of digital trade internationally makes the harmonization of e-commerce policies requisite for ASEAN’s broader trade facilitation goals. While aspirational with respect to ASEAN’s less-developed nations, the Agreement with its integrated approach lays the foundation for greater regional harmonization of e-commerce related policies and regulations, and ASEAN’s positions in future trade negotiations (like RCEP) involving e-commerce chapters.
Thailand Calls for Harmonized Cyber Crime Policies Across ASEAN
On June 27, representatives from all ten ASEAN countries met in Thailand to discuss possible countermeasures against cybercrime in the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC). Thailand’s Department of Special Investigation (DSI) hosted the seminar after several international cybercriminals stole millions of Baht from Thai victims through call centers.
Thailand’s Permanent Secretary for Justice Wisit Wisitsoraat pushed for a unified ASEAN approach to cybercrime, given loopholes in international laws that cybercriminals frequently utilize. Wisit advocated for increased communication and exchanges of information between law enforcement officials throughout ASEAN to suppress cyber threats. Citing Thailand’s Computer Crimes Act, Wisit called for member countries to adopt and implement legislation to help develop a regional system capable of detecting and preventing cybercrime.
As ASEAN countries increase their efforts to develop cyber security policies to support the growth of digital economies, attention to cybercrime activity has been inadequate. ASEAN’s generally low cyber resilience and varying levels of cyber readiness put the region at great risk for cybersecurity threats, including cybercrime. These challenges can undermine the full benefits of the digital economy, which has the potential to add $1 trillion to the region’s GDP over the next 10 years. While this meeting did not result in any substantive changes, the region’s concern with cybercrime may prompt further policy discussions during the upcoming ASEAN Ministerial Conference on Cybersecurity (AMCC) in September. The Council’s participation in the Singapore Joint Cyber Security Working Group (JCSWG) offers members an excellent platform to engage policy makers in Singapore and regionally on best practices and approaches to formulating anti cybercrime efforts. Interested members can contact Shay Wester at: email@example.com.
DICT Releases Selection Criteria for Third Telco Player
On June 26, the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) released the second draft Terms of Reference (TOR) for the selection of the country’s third major telco player. The revised TOR was crafted with the help of the United Nations’ International Telecommunication Union and will undergo a public consultation for stakeholders. Earlier this year, President Rodrigo Duterte invited foreign firms to become the third telco player in the Philippines’ wireless communication market to break the duopoly of industry giants PLDT and Globe Telecom and improve overall service. The National Telecommunications Committee (NTC) will grant the selected telco player a 15-year certificate of public convenience and necessity along with a set of frequencies in the 700 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2.5 GHz, 3.3 GHz, and 3.5 GHz bands. Malacañang had initially said that the third telecom would be announced within the first quarter of 2018. More recently, DICT Secretary Eliseo Rio, Jr. has said that the selection would be made before the end of 2018.
To participate in the selection process to be the third telco player, a company or consortium must meet the following criteria:
The Philippines Telecommunications industry faces challenges due to insufficient infrastructure. The country’s relatively lower number of cell phone towers has negatively impacted the quality of telecommunications technology available to its citizens. While the government intends to increase infrastructure spending for this purpose, the smaller number of cell phone towers has discouraged greater interest in this market.
Additionally, the new telco player will have to make several commitments to ensure that it can compete with PLDT and Globe Telecom. For example, the selected telco will commit to spending P40 billion in capital and operating expenditures per year; and have to amend its articles of incorporation so that it cannot merge with one of the other two telco players. If it does merge, it will have to return its assigned radio frequencies to the NTC to prevent spectrum hoarding. The selected telco will also have to deposit a performance security equivalent to either 10% as a cash bond or 30% as surety bond of its annual budgeted capital and operational expenditure commitment, as well as deposit 20% of its annual capital and operational expenditure with Land Bank of the Philippines. The telco can withdraw the latter deposit only after spending at least 30% of its annual committed budget. The DICT intends for the latter two requirements in particular to show that the selected telco has the financial means to effectively compete with PLDT and Globe Telecom.
US-ABC Holds the First US-ASEAN Digital Policy Consultative Forum in Kuala Lumpur
On June 26, the US-ASEAN Business Council held its first US-ASEAN Digital Policy Consultative Forum (“the Forum”) in Grand Hyatt, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, at the side line of the ASEAN Telecommunication Senior Officials Meeting and ASEAN Telecommunication Regulators’ Council Joint Working Group (TELSOM-ATRC JWG) meeting. The Forum discussed the latest trends on innovation tools and regional policy surrounding these innovative tools in the region, including issues surrounding cybersecurity, connectivity, the use of big data, cross border data flow, artificial intelligence, personal data protection, adoption of emerging technologies, etc. For more information about the Forum, please contact Shay Wester at firstname.lastname@example.org or Mario Masaya at email@example.com.
US-ABC Meets with Minister Rudiantara Regarding the Draft Amendment to Indonesia’s GR 82
On July 2, US-ASEAN Business Council President & CEO Alex Feldman met with Indonesian Minister of Communication and Information Technology Rudiantara regarding the status of the Draft Amendment to Indonesia’s GR 82. The Council was given a copy of the Draft Amendment in February and submitted a joint industry letter offering input. While the current Draft Amendment is an improvement to the original regulation, it could still allow sectoral agencies to impose data localization requirements by categorizing data as “strategic”, albeit with a request to the Minister of Communications and Information Technology (see Article 83K(2&3)).
The meeting with the Minister followed a Council-wide conference call on the Draft Amendment, where members outlined forward-looking strategies for further engagement with the Indonesian government. Minister Rudiantara affirmed that the Draft Amendment is still stalled in the Ministry of Law and Human Rights. Regarding Article 83K and the issue of data categorization, Minister Rudiantara told the Council he would ensure sectoral ministries understand that they should consult with his Ministry prior to imposing data localization requirements. While Minister Rudiantara has not voiced significant support for data localization policies, the Council will closely monitor for potential new risks during the upcoming regional elections this year and general elections in 2019. Please contact Artha Sirait (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any questions.
|IN THIS UPDATE|
Brunei government cautions public of hoax calls Xinhua 5th Jul 2018
Cambodia witnesses first of its kind data centre build The Stack 25th Jun 2018
Election Body Uses Telecoms Providers to Encourage People to Vote VOA 21st Jun 2018
Telkom Ready to Support Industrial Revolution 4.0 Jakarta Globe 1st Jul 2018
Industrial Revolution Poses Challenge for Future Human Resources Tempo 30th Jun 2018
Eastern Indonesia to gain internet access with development in telecommunication infrastructure | OpenGovAsia Open Gov Asia 27th Jun 2018
Connectivity between industrial areas will boost national growth: Minister Hartarto - ANTARA News Antara News 27th Jun 2018
Kalla encourages merchants to use e-commerce - ANTARA News Antara News 25th Jun 2018
Laos to apply Vietnamese tech for e-governance - News VietNamNet Vietnamnet 22nd Jun 2018
Digital economy raises job loss fears The Sun Daily 5th Jul 2018
Higher salary growth, job numbers in ICT sector last year The Sun Daily 3rd Jul 2018
Making it mandatory to declare data breaches Qishin Tariq 2nd Jul 2018
Pikom says no wrongdoings in relation to HRDF The Sun Daily 27th Jun 2018
Electronic exports up 3.3% in Jan-April – Seipi The Manila Times Online 3rd Jul 2018
DoF questions ‘third player’ selection via ‘beauty contest’ Business World 2nd Jul 2018
BMI: Third telco search shows ‘little momentum’ The Manila Times Online 2nd Jul 2018
DICT eyeing internet services by power co-ops The Manila Times Online 2nd Jul 2018
High-speed Internet should be a basic service in PH The Manila Times Online 1st Jul 2018
PHL seen recovering from drop in digital-competitive ranking BusinessMirror 27th Jun 2018
Revised draft terms for third telco player out philstar.com 26th Jun 2018
BSP, big banks firm up moves vs cyber threats | BusinessWorld Business World 3rd Jul 2018
Australian telecoms firm MNF to acquire Singapore's SuperInternet Group The Business Times 2nd Jul 2018
ICA launches web portal for passport, entry visa applications Channel NewsAsia 29th Jun 2018
Public feedback sought on proposed GST changes for imported services The Business Times 28th Jun 2018
Singapore has the most competitive digital economy in Asia Inquirer 28th Jun 2018
NETS launches online self-service application for merchants Singapore Business Review 25th Jun 2018
Great expectations: Here's why partnership gimmicks are not working out for telcos Singapore Business Review 21st Jun 2018
Online grocers struggle to make a mark in Singapore Singapore Business Review 27th Jun 2018
Online to offline Bangkok Post 2nd Jul 2018
Thailand’s Asian Institute of Technology develops a method to produce electricity from leftover waste | OpenGovAsia Open Gov Asia 2nd Jul 2018
Asean pools knowledge to fight cybercrime The Nation 27th Jun 2018
DTAC makes about-face on auction Bangkok Post 26th Jun 2018
400 e-waste containers abandoned at Thailand ports Inquirer 27th Jun 2018
Thailand leads in crypto by skipping the big debate Bangkok Post 1st Jul 2018
Vietnam activists flock to 'safe' social media after cyber crackdown The Sun Daily 5th Jul 2018
Online shopping increasingly unsafe for customers Vietnam Investment Review - VIR 5th Jul 2018
Insurance firms plan to go digital vietnamnews.vn 2nd Jul 2018
Law on cyber security protects citizens’ legitimate rights VOV 24th Jun 2018
Vietnamese banks boost IT use VOV 23rd Jun 2018
MoT rejects Grab expansion request VOV 23rd Jun 2018