ICT Update: October 11, 2018

ICT Update | October 11, 2018
Authors: Shay Wester, Ella Duangkaew, Monica Chritton, Bryan Yeoh
 
LOOKING AHEAD
 
 

October 16-18, 2018: Malaysia Business Mission

October 18-19, 2018: Indonesia Cybersecurity Summit

October 22, 2018: Customs Technology Workshop with the CPTFWG

November 21, 2018: SME Workshop in Hai Phong, Vietnam

December 4, 2018 - December 6, 2018: 2018 Business Mission to the 18th ASEAN Telecommunications and Information Technology Ministers Meeting

 
THE COUNCIL'S TAKE
 
 

Thailand’s Cybersecurity Bill Draws Comments from State Agencies

Thailand’s most recent draft of its Cybersecurity Bill has been opened for public commentary until October 12, and Thailand’s National Cybersecurity Committee and Thailand Information Security Association (TISA) plan to urge Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and National Legislative Assembly (NLA) to amend the Bill’s more concerning points to avoid potential negative impacts on business and privacy.

If passed, the Bill will form a regulatory agency, the Cyber Security Agency (CSA), that will drive implementation. According to the Bangkok Post, General Bunjerd Tientongdee of the National Cybersecurity Committee said there are three points of concern under the bill: (1) empowerment of Secretary-General of the National Cybersecurity Committee in commanding search and access to other computer systems and how this will impact business confidentiality, (2) designation of the right for the CSA to form a joint venture and request financial loans for operations, acting as both regulator and operator, and (3) the lack of appeal process for defendants, where penalties include fines and imprisonment.

Other members of the National Cybersecurity Committee echoed these concerns, highlighting the Bill’s good intentions, but noting lack of clarity in its implementation due to broad and vague language. Members of this state body pointed out a lack of outside input in the Bill’s drafting process, lack of court warrant process in cases where the CSA can access and seize computers or computer systems, and designation of excessive powers to the CSA.

The Bill, in principle, is meant to strengthen Thailand’s cybersecurity and is intended to protect users and critical information infrastructure (CII). Accordingly, Thailand has recently taken several initiatives toward building its cybersecurity regulatory environment and capacity, including a recent Personal Data Protection Bill, launching a ASEAN-Japan Cybersecurity Capacity Building Centre, and approving a National ID Bill. As the Bill is reviewed, it will be important for regulators to consider the recommendations provided by stakeholders, both foreign and domestic, and undertake revisions where possible to ensure the Bill is fair, transparent and practical for all stakeholders to adopt.

SingHealth Hack Update

As a response to the cyberattack on SingHealth’s database, the Singaporean government convened a Committee of Inquiry to investigate this incident.

Some of the insights revealed by the inquiry include:

  • The attackers had gained an “initial presence” in the system a year ago and had multiple failed attempts to access the system.
  • Absence of organization mechanisms within the server provider, Integrated Health Information Systems (IHiS) to deal with incident reporting, task coverage and regular feedback mechanisms.
  • The Security Incident Reporting Framework was only known in detail by members of the cybersecurity unit.
  • An underestimation of the severity of the incident by a key member of IHiS’s cyber security team.

As a result, the incident was not escalated to higher-ups. When it was established as a security incident, it was deemed as not serious because an IHiS staff member reported that data had not been stolen. A re-run of tests six days later indicated otherwise.

The escalation mechanism entailed serious consequences and the staff members in-charge were extremely cautious and wanted to gather more information. A witness stated that although he had witnessed the unusual attempt to access the database, it was his first instance encountering it, he was not sure about the security incident SOP and wanted to gather more information before alerting senior management.

The SingHealth incident has also led to a spillover effect on other industries. The financial services sector has started efforts to tighten their verification processes, for example by asking additional verification questions to confirm customer identities, and by avoiding the use of personal details such as NRIC number, name or address for customer verification. In addition, Singapore’s Cyber Security Agency (CSA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center (FS-ISAC) to advance security threat intelligence sharing and to conduct joint exercises to protect the financial services sector.

ASEAN Ministers Endorse In Principle 11 Cyber Security Norms at Third ASEAN Ministerial Conference on Cybersecurity (AMCC)

On September 19, ASEAN Ministers responsible for ICT and cybersecurity met in Singapore for the Third ASEAN Ministerial Conference on Cybersecurity (AMCC), as part of Singapore International Cyber Week 2018. Notably, the Ministers endorsed in principle 11 voluntary, nonbinding norms recommended by the 2015 United Nations Group of Governmental Experts on Developments in the Field of Information and Telecommunications in the Context of International Security (UNGGE), according to the Chairman’s Statement.

The AMCC signals a continued effort of ASEAN nations to move forward in developing a rules-based cyberspace strategy. According to The Diplomat, “it is significant that all 10 ASEAN ministers and senior officials attending the AMCC agreed to affirm the 11 norms despite most never having been party to the difficult negotiating and drafting processes of the 2015 UNGGE consensus document.”

ASEAN is focused on connectivity as part of overall economic integration and member states recognize the need to bolster regional cyberspace regulations and security. To build regional cybersecurity capacity, Thailand and Singapore will both have cybersecurity centers to train cybersecurity professionals (for more information, see our previous Update here). Overall, digital integration is key to the region’s growth. Making cybersecurity and personal data protection standards an urgent priority can drive confidence in e-commerce and facilitate cross-border data flows, according to a recent Boston Consulting Group report highlighting the region’s e-commerce potential. The principles adopted at the AMCC are a positive first step towards establishing such standards, which are increasing in importance as individual countries begin developing national cybersecurity legislation. ASEAN may be able to play an important role in ensuring that national laws are aligned with positive regional standards, particularly to be flexible, transparent and interoperable across the region.

 
ADVOCACY UPDATE
 
 
  • The Vietnam Ministry of Public Security (MPS) has reportedly completed the first draft decree to implement the Law on Cybersecurity. The document, which is dated October 3, contains detailed and restrictive requirements for data localization and the establishment of representative offices for foreign companies. See the document attached to this Update for more information. A translation of the key provisions of the draft is also attached.
    • The Council has also learned that there was a previous draft of the implementation decree that is much less restrictive than the October 3 draft. A translation of the key provisions of the previous draft, which is dated September 5, is attached as well. This earlier draft appears to incorporate industry's recommendations on, for example, data classification, narrowing the types of companies subjected to data localization requirements, and the protection of data privacy. The October 3 draft, on the other hand, eliminates these provisions. The October 3 draft has not yet been officially released; the Council will wait for this official release to submit comments. MPS is interested in working with the Council to organize a consultation workshop in the next few weeks. The Council's goal with this workshop will be to encourage MPS to revert to the September 5 draft, and improve it further. 
    • In the meantime, the Council is proposing an advocacy program to address the LOCS draft decree. The details of this advocacy program are attached. Please contact Vu Tu Thanh (tvu@usasean.org) and Ella Duangkaew (eduangkaew@usasean.org) with any questions. 
  • On October 12, the Council will submit industry comments on Thailand's revised draft Cybersecurity Bill. Please contact Praab Pianskool (praab@usasean.org) and Ella Duangkaew (eduangkaew@usasean.org) with any questions, or for a copy of the submission. The draft Bill was revised following a public hearing period that ended in April 2018. The Council submitted comments, in partnership with BSA | The Software Alliance, for this hearing on May 21, 2018. The revised bill was released (exclusively in Thai) around September 27, 2018.
  • On September 28, the Council submitted industry comments on the revised version of the Thailand Personal Data Protection Bill, which was released by the Government of Thailand on September 3 following a public hearing period on the previous version that ended in May. Please contact Praab Pianskool (praab@usasean.org) and Ella Duangkaew (eduangkaew@usasean.org) with any questions, or for a copy of the submission.
 
IN THIS UPDATE
 
 

Brunei
Digitalising Brunei
New products to improve postal service in Brunei

Cambodia
New tech centre to prepare youth for Industry 4.0

Indonesia
Indonesia To Assist Fiji With Broadband Connectivity
IoT Training to prepare Indonesia for Industrial Revolution 4.0
Indonesia set to tighten noose on online merchants evading tax
Gov't Pushes More SMEs to Use Online Marketplace

Laos
Overcoming a government crackdown on social media in Laos

Malaysia
"Future proof" core businesses to unleash innovation: MDEC
Connecting Malaysia digitally – a dream or reality?
Malaysia must keep up with digital tech, says minister
Telco sector seen facing stiff headwinds
Consumers to pay less for broadband services
Platform to establish Malaysia as hub for cyber threat intelligence sharing
Malaysians sceptical of using technology for financial transactions
Slow net speed will hit Malaysia's e-commerce badly, warns economist

Myanmar
Strict regulations enforced for rooftop internet tower installations

Philippines
Online hiring for HR declines in Malaysia, blooms in Philippines
Foreigners Dominate the E-commerce market in Philippines
US firms eye ICT investments in PH
Muted foreign interest in 3rd telco slot
PLDT rings in biggest PH tech deal ever
Government releases timeline for selection of 3rd telco player
Broadband speeds improve 30% in Aug.
Philippines collaborates with Russia on cybersecurity

Singapore
Rules to bar fintechs from moving into banking ops
Culture of complacency the greatest 'virus' in Singapore's battle against cyberattacks
New biometric app out soon to boost security of e-services
How hackers got away with SingHealth's crown jewels
Singapore working with Indonesia over regional intelligence web
SingHealth COI: Hackers tried to attack network again on July 19 amid probe
Plan to tap tech to provide better, faster public services
Four new members appointed to GovTech board

Thailand
Thailand paces region in CMMI-certified software
NIA launches startup pad district in True Digital Park
Bangkok CyberTech District seen as ‘game changer’
Commerce studies blockchain benefits
EEC panel gives nod for digital push
Bank of Thailand pilots blockchain technology in savings bond sales
Police to go high-tech in fight against crime
Agencies offer scheme to ease poverty

Vietnam
Exclusive: Vietnam cyber law set for tough enforcement despite Google, Facebook pleas
Vietnam’s SMEs make technolgy their top priority, survey finds
Vietnam to open up telecom market for foreign investors
Vietnamese firm wins at Global Smart Cities Contest
Hà Nội promotes IT in citizen management
HCM City to study foreign policies on smart cities

 
ARTICLE CLIPS
 
 
Brunei

Digitalising Brunei The ASEAN Post 2nd Oct 2018
One of the key components of Brunei Vison 2035 is the application of Information Technology (IT) throughout the country. This is carried out through the Digital Government Strategy 2015-2020 which is in line with ASEAN’s digitalisation process.

New products to improve postal service in Brunei Borneo Bulletin Online 30th Sep 2018
The Postal Services Department of the Ministry of Communications is making efforts to improve the quality of the department’s services and products.

Cambodia

New tech centre to prepare youth for Industry 4.0 Khmer Times 2nd Oct 2018
As part of plans to adapt to technological trends, the government announced last week the construction of a centre inside one of the nation’s leading universities that will focus on the skills young tech entrepreneurs need to succeed in the digital economy. Dubbed the ‘Techo Startup Centre’, the facility will teach the skills demanded in tomorrow’s jobs, particularly entrepreneurship in the tech industry, and will boost the small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) sector, said Aun Pornmonirath, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy and Finance.

Indonesia

Indonesia To Assist Fiji With Broadband Connectivity Fiji Sun 9th Oct 2018
Like Indonesia, Fiji is one country that faces the challenge of high costs associated with connecting islands together through broadband network. In regards to this, the Indonesia Government is willing to share their knowledge on their high speed connectivity with countries like Fiji. Speaking to 11 South Pacific journalists on Monday, Minster of Communication and Information Rudiantara said similarly to Indonesia, private sectors in Fiji might also have challenges due to high cost of connecting islands with broadband network.

IoT Training to prepare Indonesia for Industrial Revolution 4.0 OpenGov 5th Oct 2018
An Internet of Things (IoT) Network Planning Training was held in Bandung, Indonesia as part of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Regional activities. According to a recent report, the training was organised by the Ministry of Communications and Informatics together with ITU and supported by the Australian Government’s Department of Communication and Arts.

Indonesia set to tighten noose on online merchants evading tax South China Morning Post 5th Oct 2018
Indonesia plans to require online merchants to own tax identification numbers starting this year, part of efforts to boost revenue and improve compliance in the fast-growing e-commerce industry. PT Tokopedia and PT Bukalapak.com will be among e-commerce companies which will ask sellers for identification numbers, known as NPWP, as a condition to operate on their platforms, according to Robert Pakpahan, the Finance Ministry’s director general of taxes. These platforms will submit a monthly report of transactions to the government, he said.

Gov't Pushes More SMEs to Use Online Marketplace Jakarta Globe 1st Oct 2018
The Ministry of Communication and Information Technology has set a target of having 8 million small and medium enterprises market their products and services online by 2019 to help them boost revenue and pave the way for their entry into the global market.

Laos

Overcoming a government crackdown on social media in Laos Al Jazeera News 3rd Oct 2018
Inside a packed lecture hall at the American Centre in the capital Vientiane, 60 National University of Laos students sit surrounded by framed posters featuring inspirational quotes by American icons Martin Luther King Jr, Maya Angelou and Steve Jobs. On the screen at the front of the room, Vientiane Times journalist Keoxomphou Sakdavong begins her US embassy-sponsored event, How to Spot Fake News, by broadcasting on Facebook Live from the manicured lawn outside the hall.

Malaysia

"Future proof" core businesses to unleash innovation: MDEC NST 11th Oct 2018
HANOI, Vietnam: Malaysian companies need to step up in their automation efforts to 'future proof' their core businesses and unleash innovation to stay ahead of the competition, said Malaysian Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) chief executive officer Datuk Yasmin Mahmood.

Connecting Malaysia digitally – a dream or reality? The Star Online 10th Oct 2018
Gobind Singh Deo seems to have set some tough targets for himself and the telecoms industry players. To him, access to the Internet is not a privilege or luxury anymore, it is a necessity. He envisions “Internet connectivity being available to anyone, anywhere, anytime”. His plan is “fibre first”, as he told a group of investors and corporates at the “Malaysia – A New Dawn” conference in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

Malaysia must keep up with digital tech, says minister Malay Mail 9th Oct 2018
Malaysia risks losing its competitiveness if the country lags behind in adopting digital technologies for both the government and industrial sectors, said Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo. He said the issue needs to be addressed urgently as he felt internet access is neither a privilege nor a luxury, but a necessity and a survival tool.

Telco sector seen facing stiff headwinds The Sun Daily 7th Oct 2018
The telecommunications (telco) sector is expected to face difficult headwinds given the heightened regulatory pressure and competition that is unlikely to abate anytime soon, said PublicInvest Research analyst Eltricia Foong. “We reckon that the operating landscape for both mobile and fixed-line operators will continue to be challenging. In the past, the fixed-line broadband market had been nonchalant but with the implementation of Mandatory Standard on Access Pricing (MSAP) following the change of federal government in May, this segment has since been hit by lower margin and greater competition,” she said in her report.

Consumers to pay less for broadband services Free Malaysia Today 7th Oct 2018
Consumers will enjoy cheaper broadband services following the announcement by four telecommunication companies to reduce the price of their fixed broadband packages by up to 56%. In a statement issued today, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) said the announcement by Telekom Malaysia (TM), Maxis, TIME dotcom (TIME) and Celcom was made following the call by Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo.

Platform to establish Malaysia as hub for cyber threat intelligence sharing BorneoPost Online 4th Oct 2018
CyberSecurity Malaysia and VigilantAsia initiated a Regional Cyber Threat Intelligence Platform (Cyber-TIP), the region’s first government and industry cyber security predictive threat intelligence platform. Together with Laos, Cambodia, Indonesia, and Vietnam as supporting partners, the initiation of the Cyber-TIP will establish Malaysia as the regional hub for Cyber Threat Intelligence sharing.

Malaysians sceptical of using technology for financial transactions The Star Online 2nd Oct 2018
Malaysia’s financial technology ecosystem has grown tremendously over the past two years, but Malaysians continue to be sceptical over the use of technology to conduct their financial transactions. Malaysian Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) Chief Operating Officer Datuk Ng Wan Peng said the adoption of cashless payments, especially among small and medium enterprises (SMEs), is still relatively low.

Slow net speed will hit Malaysia's e-commerce badly, warns economist Free Malaysia Today 30th Sep 2018
Malaysia needs to pay more attention to developing its fixed-line broadband to meet future needs instead of just mobile broadband, a World Bank economist said. He said this was necessary to ensure Malaysia does not lag behind its regional peers in an increasingly lucrative and expanding digital economy. Richard Record, a lead economist at the World Bank Group, said while Malaysia had come up tops in terms of mobile use, fixed-line broadband internet adoption numbers were too low.

Myanmar

Strict regulations enforced for rooftop internet tower installations Global New Light Of Myanmar 5th Oct 2018
Rooftop internet towers are installed only under the permission of Directorate of Telecommunications, said Yangon mayor U Maung Maung Soe. He was responding to a question raised by Mayangon Township Hluttaw representative U Yan Shin at the 15th-day meeting of the seventh regular session of Second Yangon Region Hluttaw on 3 October. The question asked which department permits the installation of telephone lines, internet lines and internet towers of MPT, Ooredoo, Telenor and Mytel, the average weights and which organisation inspets the buildings and the towers.

Philippines

Online hiring for HR declines in Malaysia, blooms in Philippines HRM Asia 10th Oct 2018
According to the latest Monster Employment Index, HR and admin talent is in-demand in the Philippines, but suffering decline in Malaysia and Singapore. As Malaysia’s online hiring activity declines overall, the demand for HR and Admin professionals in the country also witnessed one of the steepest annual declines of -8% among job roles. It also marks the sixth consecutive month of decline for the role.

Foreigners Dominate the E-commerce market in Philippines Retail News Asia 9th Oct 2018
Local players in the Philippine e-marketplace reach more Filipinos in terms of social media activity. However, they struggle to establish a stronghold in terms of actual selling activity as international players are still the preferred choice for most Filipinos. It comes as a surprise that only a few international players dominate the country’s e-marketplace traffic activity.

US firms eye ICT investments in PH Malaya Business Insight 8th Oct 2018
Twenty-five US-based companies will explore opportunities in the information communication technology business in the Philippines, according to Alegria Limjoco, president of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI).

Muted foreign interest in 3rd telco slot BusinessWorld 8th Oct 2018
Four local firms and only one foreign company, Norway’s Telenor Group, firmed up their interest in participating in the auction for the country’s third major telecommunications service provider by purchasing the bid documents on Monday — the first day of its availability. Representatives from businessman Dennis A. Uy’s Udenna Corp., Telenor Group, Now Corp., a consortium of Davao-based TierOne Communications International Inc. and former politician Luis “Chavit” C. Singson’s LCS Group of Companies, as well as an unidentified local company, bought the bid documents at the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) office in Quezon City.

PLDT rings in biggest PH tech deal ever Business Inquirer 5th Oct 2018
Chinese technology giant Tencent Holdings, the developer of WeChat, and a United States-based fund will enter the digital innovations arm of PLDT Inc. in a move seen to accelerate the use of cashless payments in the Philippines. In a joint statement, PLDT said Tencent and investment firm KKR would invest up to $175 million (P9.5 billion) in PLDT unit Voyager Innovations, which operates the mobile wallet PayMaya. The deal was billed as the largest single investment to date in a Philippine tech company.

Government releases timeline for selection of 3rd telco player CNN 2nd Oct 2018
The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) have revealed the timeline for the selection of the new major telecommunication player. This comes almost two weeks after the two agencies published the final selection criteria on September 21.

Broadband speeds improve 30% in Aug. Malaya Business Insight 1st Oct 2018
The Philippines’ mobile and fixed broadband speeds have improved by over 30 percent in August this year compared with the same month last year, according to the Speedtest Global Index Report of Ookla.

Philippines collaborates with Russia on cybersecurity OpenGov 28th Sep 2018
The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) is collaborating with a Russian state-owned company in its mission to improve cybersecurity in the country. According to a recent report, the partnership was made official with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that will entail a closer cooperation on cybersecurity concerns.

Singapore

Rules to bar fintechs from moving into banking ops The Straits Times 11th Oct 2018
While fintechs are welcome to set up shop here, there will be clear lines drawn to prevent them from using funds to push into banking operations, such as extending loans. Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) managing director Ravi Menon said yesterday that larger mobile wallet operators will have to ring-fence their e-wallet funds, meaning they will be barred from lending.

Culture of complacency the greatest 'virus' in Singapore's battle against cyberattacks The Edge Singapore 10th Oct 2018
Singapore has been investing heavily into cybersecurity amid its Smart Nation drive. But as details of the events leading to the cyberattack on Singapore Health Services’ patient database system in June emerge, so too do signs of a worrying trend: Has a culture of complacency seeped into the people and organisations tasked with defending the nation against cyber threats? And will these human-related weaknesses prove to be the chink in the armour that will lead to the collapse of “Fortress Singapore” — a term coined to describe the nation’s favourable position as a data centre hub due to its physical security and political stability?

New biometric app out soon to boost security of e-services The Straits Times 10th Oct 2018
A new biometric app that grants access to e-citizen services will be rolled out by the end of this month. In the light of the recent SingHealth cyber attack, having biometric identification does make systems safer, Minister-in-charge of the Smart Nation Initiative Vivian Balakrishnan said yesterday.

How hackers got away with SingHealth's crown jewels The Straits Times 8th Oct 2018
An inquiry in the past two weeks into the SingHealth cyber attack has uncovered new details about the data breach and also identified weaknesses and lapses in the public healthcare group and its IT vendor. Based on testimonies of witnesses, Senior Tech Correspondent Irene Tham and Hariz Baharudin piece together an account of how Singapore's biggest cyber attack unfolded.

Singapore working with Indonesia over regional intelligence web The Straits Times 5th Oct 2018
Singapore is working closely with Indonesia to get more support at an Asean meeting later this month to build a regional counter-terrorism intelligence-sharing network, said Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen, speaking at a Total Defence Awards dinner last night. Indonesian Defence Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu, in his speech at a counter-terrorism symposium in Singapore yesterday, said precious lives could have been saved if government agencies and ministries in the region had shared and exchanged quality intelligence during the siege of Marawi in the Philippines in May last year.

SingHealth COI: Hackers tried to attack network again on July 19 amid probe The Straits Times 5th Oct 2018
Attackers behind Singapore's worst data breach were so skilled that they established multiple footholds in SingHealth's network, enabling them to execute commands from yet another compromised server on July 19, amid investigations of their earlier breach.

Plan to tap tech to provide better, faster public services The Straits Times 3rd Oct 2018
There will be a fundamental re-engineering of the Government so that it can tap technology to provide better and faster public services at a fraction of the cost. This will involve radically overhauling or replacing its existing IT systems and revamping its processes.

Four new members appointed to GovTech board The Straits Times 1st Oct 2018
Four new board members have been appointed to the board of the Government Technology Agency (GovTech).The four newly appointed board members are OCBC Bank senior vice-president Bojan Blecic; World Bank Group chief technology officer Lesly Goh; Ms Melissa Khoo, group director of the Ministry of Health's ageing planning office; and Integrated Health Information Systems chief executive officer Bruce Liang.

Thailand

Thailand paces region in CMMI-certified software Bangkok Post 11th Oct 2018
Thailand ranks No.1 in Asean for a third straight year with the highest number of software firms receiving CMMI global certification in software development. The trend has helped increase the quality of local software and startup competitiveness amid digital transformation and the rise of emerging technologies, said the National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA).

NIA launches startup pad district in True Digital Park Bangkok Post 10th Oct 2018
The National Innovation Agency (NIA), in collaboration with True Digital Park, have launched Bangkok Cyber Tech District, which aims to house more than 20,000 startups. Located in Punnawithi, Bangkok Cyber Tech District at True Digital Park is located on 200,000 square metres, considered the largest startup park in Southeast Asia, said Thanasorn Jaidee, president of True Digital Park.

Bangkok CyberTech District seen as ‘game changer’ The Nation 10th Oct 2018
The National Innovation Agency (NIA) in collaboration with True Digital Park is launching the Bangkok CyberTech District in the Punnawithi area. The agency expects to invite around 50 international startups per year to set up base in Thailand.

Commerce studies blockchain benefits Bangkok Post 9th Oct 2018
The Commerce Ministry has launched a feasibility study to apply public blockchain solutions to copyright management, with plans to expand to agriculture and trade finance to boost the country's competitiveness and credibility, particularly for small business.

EEC panel gives nod for digital push The Nation 7th Oct 2018
The steering committee of the EEC Development Policy last week acknowledged the proposal of the Digital Economy and Society Ministry to develop the digital and communications infrastructure on the Eastern Economic Corridor with a budget of more than Bt17.913 billion. The committee meeting was chaired by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha. Kanit Sangsubhan, secretary-general of the EEC Office of Thailand, said that the meeting also assigned the ministry and related agencies to rush to implement the project as proposed by the ministry.

Bank of Thailand pilots blockchain technology in savings bond sales TokenPost 4th Oct 2018
The Bank of Thailand (BoT) has announced that it has initiated a pilot of the DLT Scripless Bond Project that utilizes blockchain technology. The BoT will conduct the pilot in collaboration with a number of organizations including the Public Debt Management Office, Thailand Securities Depository (TSD), Thai Bond Market Association, and Selling Agents that include Bangkok Bank, Krungthai Bank, Kasikorn Bank, and Siam Commercial Bank. IBM is the technology partner for the project.

Police to go high-tech in fight against crime The Myanmar Times 3rd Oct 2018
The police will use more state-of-the-art technology to help ensure the safety of the public, said U Phyo Min Thein, Yangon Region chief minister, during a ceremony to mark the 54th Myanmar Police Force Day, on Monday.

Agencies offer scheme to ease poverty The Nation 2nd Oct 2018
The Office of National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB), the National Electronics and Computer Technology Centre (NECTEC), the National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA) and the Ministry of Science and Technologies have joined up to help alleviate poverty in Thailand. Sarun Sumriddetchkajorn, executive director of NECTEC, said the centre had developed the Thai People Map and Analytics Platform (TPMAP) to pinpoint the problems people in different parts of Thailand are facing.

Vietnam

Exclusive: Vietnam cyber law set for tough enforcement despite Google, Facebook pleas Reuters 10th Oct 2018
Vietnam is preparing to strictly enforce a new cybersecurity law requiring global technology companies to set up local offices and store data locally despite pleas from Facebook, Google and other firms, a government document showed.

Vietnam’s SMEs make technolgy their top priority, survey finds The Nation 9th Oct 2018
Technology is the top investment priority of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Vietnam as they aim to ensure continued growth, according to the Asean SME Transformation Study. The study, by Singapore’s United Overseas Bank (UOB), EY and Dun & Bradstreet, found that close to three in five Vietnamese SMEs favour investments in technology over traditional areas such as factories or machinery as they seek growth opportunities in the digital economy.

Vietnam to open up telecom market for foreign investors Hanoi Times 7th Oct 2018
Vietnam’s commitments to increase foreign equity caps in the telecommunications sectors under the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) will ease European investors to enter the country’s industry. Under the EVFTA, which is expected to take effect next year, in the telecom sector, Vietnam will raise the foreign equity cap in non-facilities based virtual private network services from the current 70 percent to 75 percent.

Vietnamese firm wins at Global Smart Cities Contest Vietnam News 2nd Oct 2018
The Advanced International JSC (AIC Group) of Việt Nam has won the “World’s Best Smart National Concept and Model” award at the Global Smart Cities Contest 2018.

Hà Nội promotes IT in citizen management Vietnam News 1st Oct 2018
Each citizen will be issued with a new identity card and a 12-digit NI number, which incorporates all basic personal information, some of which is currently recorded in household registration books.

HCM City to study foreign policies on smart cities Vietnam News 29th Sep 2018
Nearly 200 delegates, including those from the US, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines, discussed ways to help HCM City build a smart city.