Prime Sarmiento in Hong Kong
The World Digital Economy and Technology Summit 2022 opened on June 28 in Kuala Lumpur with over 600 participants sharing their insights and views on the growth of digital technology and shaping the global digital future. WDET has been organized by the KSI Strategic Institute for Asia Pacific, the Economic Club of Kuala Lumpur and the Pacific Basin Economic Council and is supported by the China Daily Asia Leadership Roundtable. The two-day event comes at a time when the pandemic has led to digital transformation, pushing more people into e-commerce, digital banking, telehealth, and online education. WDET is being held in a hybrid format, with top policymakers, diplomats, corporate leaders, academicians, entrepreneurs, innovators, digital practitioners and digital evangelists from 28 countries attending either in person or virtually. “The widespread use of digital technology has accelerated the pace of globalization, transformed the world economic order, and has also transformed the Malaysian economy,” Mustapa Mohamed, Malaysia’s Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Economy), said in his keynote address. Mustapa opened WDET’s morning session by noting that Southeast Asia is one of the world’s fastest-growing internet markets and that “the pandemic has completely changed the digital landscape in Southeast Asia, where 14 million new internet users (were) recorded last year”. He said this pushed the “momentum of digitalization to unprecedented heights”. Indonesian officials discussed how digital technology is helping and being harnessed by various industries. Sandiaga Uno, Minister for Tourism and Creative Economy, and Muhammad Neil El Himam, deputy chairman for digital economy and creative products at the same ministry, delivered their report via video link. Michael Yeoh, KSI’s president, had a face-to-face discussion with N.R. Narayana Murthy, founder and chairman emeritus of Infosys, one of India’s biggest technology companies. Murthy said digital commerce, quantum computing and the internet of things are some of the “most exciting technologies that will impact our lives”. David Lee Kuo Chuen, professor at the Singapore University of Social Sciences, discussed the metaverse and the future of digital technology and the digital economy, via video link. In the afternoon, the event was to feature a session on digital leadership and business opportunities in the digital economy.