International: ASEAN convened a Special Meeting of the Committee of the Whole for the ASEAN Economic Community (CoW) on the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) in Bangkok on 13 July as it embarked on collaborative efforts to maximise opportunities from the 4IR.
The Special Meeting was organised to further discuss concrete next steps that would guide ASEAN’s work on the 4IR.
“Driven by increasing digitalisation and innovation, ASEAN is on the brink of technological revolution,” Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN for Economic Community Dr. Aladdin Rillo stated in his welcome remark.
Highlighting the importance Thailand gives to prepare the region for the 4IR, Mrs. Auramon Supthaweethum, the Director-General of the Department of Trade Negotiations of Thailand’s Ministry of Commerce and Chair of the Senior Economic Officials Meeting, stated that the five 4IR-related Priority Economic Deliverables of Thailand’s 2019 ASEAN Chairmanship are progressing on schedule.
Mrs. Supthaweethum emphasised that “there is still a need for a collaborative mechanism to enable sectoral bodies under the three pillars of the ASEAN Community to work together” despite various initiatives to address the challenges of the 4IR across different ASEAN sectoral bodies. Mrs. Supthaweethum added that ASEAN’s effort to convene the Special Meeting is crucial “to solidify the region’s cooperation on the 4IR.”