By China Daily/ANN
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of digital economy in restoring economic and social development, creating more jobs and improving people's well-being, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said on Friday in a congratulatory message to the opening ceremony of the 2020 China-ASEAN Year of Digital Economy Cooperation (DEC).
In his message, Li said China and the ASEAN are friendly neighbors and important partners. The rapid development of the digital economy nowadays is profoundly reshaping the landscapes of world economy and human society.
Li expressed the hope that China and ASEAN can take the China-ASEAN Year of DEC as an opportunity and make good use of the new technological revolution and industrial transformation.
The two sides should also tap complementary advantages, focus on win-win cooperation, and cultivate more new growth points for cooperation in such industrial areas as smart city, artificial intelligence and big data, so as to build stronger drivers for their economic and social development and inject fresh energy for realizing lasting stability and prosperity in the region, he added.
Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, whose country chairs the ASEAN rotating presidency, also sent a congratulatory letter to the opening ceremony.
China and ASEAN will expand cooperation in 5G, the internet of things, artificial intelligence, industrial internet, as well as digital epidemic prevention, said Minister of Industry and Information Technology Miao Wei at the virtual opening ceremony.
By 2025, ASEAN's digital economy is expected to increase from 1.3 percent of GDP in 2015 to 8.5 percent, ASEAN Secretary-General Lim Jock Hoi said.
China is at the forefront of the development of digital infrastructure and is a valuable partner of ASEAN in promoting the development of the digital economy in the region, he said.
During the January-May period, ASEAN was China's largest trading partner, with trade up by 4.2 percent year on year to 1.7 trillion yuan (about US$241 billion), accounting for 14.7 percent of China's total foreign trade, customs data showed.