Digital connectivity: Bolstering technical development and shaping the digital economy in Southeast Asia

The UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) released a working paper that explores the intersection of connectivity and the digital economy in South-East Asia, namely in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand, and Viet Nam. It further outlines some recommendations to policymakers, authorities, and intergovernmental organizations on bolstering information and communications technology development and paving the way to a sustainable, inclusive and resilient digital economy in South-East Asia. According to the paper, affordable and reliable connectivity no longer falls under the sole jurisdiction of the ICT authorities. Therefore, policymakers and regulatory authorities should adopt a collaborative approach, noting the regulator sandboxes. This includes integrated programmes, projects, and works that should be delivered to build an inclusive region. One of the most relevant regional initiatives is the Asia-Pacific Information Superhighway (AP-IS).