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News Driving ASEAN’s Digital Revolution: Insights from the Philippines and Malaysia

Driving ASEAN’s Digital Revolution: Insights from the Philippines and Malaysia

Fireside chat on ASEAN innovation integration between Jove Topiador, President, Fintech Philippines Association; Dato Abdul Malik Melvin Castellino Anthony, Ambassador of Malaysia; Antonilo Mauricio, General Manager of the National Development Corporation; Amor Maclang, Convenor, Digital Pilipinas. 

The Malaysia Embassy hosted an event last January 29, 2024, centered on “Investing in Innovation in ASEAN: The Case Study of the Philippines and Malaysia.” Distinguished leaders and experts from both nations gathered to deliberate on advancing digital empowerment and fostering regional cooperation within the ASEAN community.

The gathering, strategically convened ahead of Malaysia’s upcoming chairmanship of ASEAN in 2025, served as a pivotal platform to synchronize efforts aimed at fostering regional cooperation and progress. With the impending leadership role, Malaysia and its partners seized this opportunity to reaffirm their commitment to advancing collective aspirations within the ASEAN community.

A transformative partnership between Digital Pilipinas and MyDigital was announced, symbolizing a shared commitment to leveraging digital technologies for the betterment of society. Furthermore, the gathering marked an opportunity for high-level engagements, emphasizing dedication to forging strong partnerships and driving meaningful change within the region. In a statement, Dato Abdul Malik Melvin Castellino Anthony, Ambassador of Malaysia, shared that “ASEAN nations are embracing digitalization in unprecedented ways, fostering increased connectivity across our borders, and thus increased economic cooperation.”

Discussions emphasized the importance of learning from each other, with a focus on leveraging Malaysia’s mentorship to accelerate progress in the Philippines. Mutual learning and collaboration were deemed paramount for the region’s digital economy, according to Antonilo Mauricio, General Manager of the National Development Corporation.

For her part, Amor Maclang, Convenor, Digital Pilipinas, shared that by leveraging established regional platforms, such as those in Malaysia, Philippine companies can accelerate their integration into the digital economy.

Other points of discussion

Initiatives like the KL20 program, aimed at positioning Malaysia as a leading startup hub in the region, and the Proptech Consortium of the Philippines, extending a warm welcome to Malaysian tech companies eager to share best practices, were highlighted.

Cybersecurity emerged as a crucial aspect of digitalization, with emphasis placed on establishing a solid foundation before advancing digital infrastructure and technology. Additionally, the significance of digital identity in enhancing security and achieving financial inclusion among the unbanked population was underscored.

The gathering concluded with a call for strategic assessment of investment partners to drive scalability, prioritizing value-driven services and inclusive digitalization strategies.

The ASEAN Innovation Summit at the Malaysia Embassy served as a platform for insightful discussions and fruitful collaborations, marking a significant step forward in advancing innovation and cooperation within the ASEAN community.

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