“At this forum, Vietnam will propose new ideas for a shared mobile network with the same prices across ASEAN,” Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said Wednesday.
Addressing the opening session of the World Economic Forum on ASEAN 2018, the PM also proposed that bloc members improve digital connectivity and data sharing with emphasis on e-commerce and e-payment.
“Data is the basis of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, therefore there should be regulations that facilitate effective data sharing,” he said.
ASEAN members also need to build a harmonized business environment and legal framework to improve internal capacities, the PM noted.
Phuc said he believes there will be more collaboration among ASEAN startups in the future.
ASEAN countries need to collaborate and operate innovation hubs and build a system to connect them, he said.
The PM also called for an education system that would promote lifelong learning.
“In the context of the fourth industrial revolution, we need to cooperate and promote our internal strengths, aiming toward peace, stability, self-reliance with people at the core. We need to ensure the freedom of movement of goods,” he said.
Nguyen Manh Hung, Vietnam's acting Minister of Information and Communication, shared three ideas for “a united ASEAN.”
He proposed a strong linkage in ASEAN where every member feels that this is their home despite the geographical distance.
The second was the establishment of an ASEAN Information and Communication Technology (ICT) University, where students will learn skills for the Industry 4.0 era.
Hung also suggested the establishment of a network for information sharing on cybersecurity in the region.
"Our lives depend a lot on the Internet. However, the Internet is not a secured place. So, the most important thing for us in the future is network security,” Hung said.
Commenting on the impact of the Industry 4.0, Hung said it would be "breakthrough moment” and greatly change the path to the future.
"With developing countries, we will be less burdened and will go faster," he said.
Hung noted that the Industry 4.0 was not only a technological revolution but also a policy revolution.
Even though developing countries may not be strong enough and the regulatory framework not solid, they can flexibly change new business models and new policies for integrating new technologies into their business.
"And I think the developing countries will have a lot of change thanks to the Industry 4.0," Hung said.
Leaders, not followers
At the opening session, WEF executive chairman Klaus Schwab said that the WEF on ASEAN 2018 was a high-level summit ever organized, showing the potential of ASEAN with strong political will in a fragmented world.
The world is entering a race for mastering technology 4.0, and this competition is increasing alongside the fourth industrial revolution, Schwab said.
Things will be different 20 years from now, he said, adding that countries that have succeeded with the 4.0 revolution will be redefined by a system of startups and entrepreneurs.
To be successful in this revolution, ASEAN governments need to create favorable conditions for startups, he said.
It will remove some jobs but will create an opportunity for governments to work together and create more interaction between the government and businesses, Schwab said.
He said that ASEAN nations with young population and high entrepreneur spirit will be leaders, not followers in this revolution.
The opening session, themed “Southeast Asia’s priorities in the Fourth Industrial Revolution Era”, is deemed an opportunity for leaders of member countries to discuss concerns and options at a time of many technological breakthroughs.
The leaders of ASEAN member nations attending the event included Vietnam’s Party General Secretary o Nguyen Phu Trong, Vietnamese PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Singapore's PM Lee Hsien Loong, Indonesia's President Joko Widodo, Cambodia's PM Hun Sen, Laotian PM Thongloun Sisoulith, Myanmar's State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, and Thai Deputy PM Prajin Juntong.
WEF executive chairman Klaus Schwab and Chinese Vice-Premier Hu Chunhua also attended the opening session.
“ASEAN 4.0: Entrepreneurship and the Fourth Industrial Revolution” is the overarching theme for the event.
Five main topics are on the agenda: determining a new vision for ASEAN and regional integration; seeking new economic models and management in the digital era; seeking motivations and new business models for ASEAN countries in the 4.0 era; business and a new approach to global and regional management; developing smart infrastructure, skills and job training, innovative startups in the 4.0 era.