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Tuesday, 5th May 2015

Unleashing the Potential of the Internet for ASEAN Economies - Executive Summary

Source: Internet Society

From the Introduction:

To remain competitive, ASEAN members recognize that they must deepen their integration, and hence are establishing the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) at the end of 2015 to accelerate this process. The ASEAN Economic Community Blueprint2 provides a comprehensive overview of the agenda for transforming ASEAN into a highly competitive, single market and production base.

One of the challenges faced by ASEAN in this process is the vast diversity that exists between and within ASEAN member economies. Regional averages mask huge differences—both in stage of development and quality of life. For example, Singapore has a GDP per capita that is over 60 times higher than Myanmar. Narrowing development gaps, and ensuring equitable and inclusive growth are critical for the successful integration of ASEAN. One of the issues in addressing this challenge is connectivity, and in ASEAN’s various masterplans, information and communications technology (ICT) connectivity and with it, Internet connectivity, is recognized as fundamental to deepening regional integration and achieving AEC goals.

Internet penetration across ASEAN countries however, currently varies from as much as 73% of the population in Singapore to little more than 1% in Myanmar. The consequences of this digital divide are profound. As the Internet extends connectivity into machines and things, and becomes more embedded in everyday lives, the cost of not getting online will continue to mount for countries already at a disadvantage, potentially exacerbating the divide.

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Having begun his career in academic libraries, Adrian Janes has subsequently worked extensively in public libraries, chiefly in enquiry work as an Information Services librarian. In this role he has had particular responsibility for information from both the UK Government and the European Union. He wrote a detailed report on sources for the latter which was published by FreePint in 2007, and has contributed articles to FreePint and ResourceShelf. He is involved in training in information literacy and the use of online reference resources.

A Contributing Editor to DocuTicker, he also write reviews for Pennyblackmusic.

More articles by Adrian Janes »



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