About the ICT Committee

Following the successful program, "Cabinet Forum: Harnessing ICT for Effective Governance," in Manila, Philippines on November 12, 2004, both Council members and ASEAN government officials expressed the need for a group within the Council focused on ICT issues in the region.  In response, the Council formed the ICT Committee.  Through public-private partnerships, consultative meetings and ICT programs involving U.S. and regional government officials, the US-ASEAN Business Council’s ICT Committee is dedicated to advancing the technology goals of ASEAN and individual ASEAN countries.

The committee supports the efforts of ASEAN and its members to strengthen the region's ICT policies, regulatory frameworks and ICT master plans.  Recognizing the role of the private sector in leading innovation can produce win-win opportunities for both the public and private sector.  The Council believes that encouraging the development of a flourishing ICT ecosystem will promote economic growth and connect people.  ICT Committee themes and policy priorities include:

  1. Regional Integration – support adoption by governments across the ASEAN region of harmonized regulatory approaches and policies embodying global best practices to spur growth of the digital economy in ASEAN, including:
  2. Innovation – to share knowledge on the latest innovations in technology, and encourage enabling policy environments that provide space for innovation to grow while protecting citizens’ privacy and security;
  3. Information Security and Assurance:
    1. Personal Data Protection - to leverage the ASEAN Framework on Personal Data Protection to advocate for country-level privacy policies in line with international best practices;
    2. Cyber Security - to offer expertise to support of the adoption of strong cyber security policies and practices among ASEAN Member States;
    3. Digital Data Governance – to support ASEAN in the development of a Digital Data Governance Framework, with an emphasis on providing for cross-border data sharing.
  4. Digital Economy – Improve access to services and tools for ASEAN people, governments and businesses, especially SMEs, to adapt in this digitized world.; Position US-ABC and its members as authoritative resources and go-to partners in navigating the complexities of these digital policy challenges and achieving goals in security, governance, education, healthcare and economic growth.
  5. Human Capital Development – to support the US-ASEAN Business Alliance for Competitive SME’s programs on ICT skills development throughout the region, to grow the next generation of ICT professionals.

Regular Engagements with ASEAN ICT Officials

The ICT Committee facilitates regular engagement with senior ASEAN government officials and ASEAN ICT ministries. Engagements vary in size and scope according to the communicated goals of members and government officials, from roundtable discussions to full-scale business missions. The December 2017 Business Mission to the 17th Annual ASEAN Telecommunications and Information Technology Ministers’ Meeting saw a delegation 7 companies engage with senior ICT officials, such as Indonesia’s Minister of Communication and Information Technology H.E. Rudiantara, Thailand’s Minister of Digital Economy and Society H.E. Pichet Durongkaveroj, the Philippines’ Acting Secretary of the Department of Information and Communications Technology H.E. Eliseo M. Rio Jr., and Cambodia’s Minister of Post and Communications, H.E. Tram Iv Tek. The Council held its first Digital Policy Consultative Forum in June 2018, which saw several companies engage in depth with working-level ASEAN ICT officials on new innovation and the policies to foster innovation. The Forum will continue in 2019 (see more below). Finally, in September 2018, the Council held its inaugural engagement with Ministers during the ASEAN Ministerial Conference on Cybersecurity, which saw over 20 companies engage with senior cybersecurity officials, including Singapore’s Minister for Communications and Information, H.E. S. Iswaran, and Malaysia’s Chief Executive Officer of the National Cyber Security Agency H.E. Md Shah Nuri Md Zain. In addition, Council members often meet with ICT Ministries during annual Business Missions to each ASEAN country.

ASEAN-US Digital Policy Consultative Forum

The ASEAN-US Digital Policy Consultative Forum was established by the Council in December 2017. At the 17th ASEAN – US TELSOM Meeting in Siem Reap, Cambodia, the Council proposed collaborating with ASEAN to organize the “ASEAN-US Digital Policy Consultative Forum” (the Forum): a series of roundtable discussions between the private sector and TELSOM-ATRC designed to facilitate in-depth dialogue. The objective of these discussions would be to support ASEAN in achieving a digitally-enabled economy by sharing the latest innovation and global best practices. In the Meeting, ASEAN TELSOM welcomed this initiative and it was included in the ASEAN-US ICT 2018 Work Plan. The first Forum was held in Malaysia on June 26, 2018 and saw the participation of around 60 representatives from ASEAN governments, US-ABC member companies, and other regional stakeholders. The Council continues to host these Forums, which serve as platforms for ASEAN policymakers and stakeholders to exchange views on how to establish friendly ICT policies that will allow technological innovations to give greater benefits for ASEAN economic growth.