Resolution on Improving Participation in the Digital Economy and Enhancing Connectivity throughout the Region


28th Annual Meeting of the Asia Pacific Parliamentary Forum
13-16 January 2020

Resolution on Improving Participation in the Digital Economy and Enhancing Connectivity throughout the Region


(Sponsored by Malaysia, Australia, Cambodia, Vietnam and Indonesia)

We the parliamentarians of the Asia Pacific Parliamentary Forum (APPF), gathering in Canberra, Australia, for the 28th Annual Meeting of the APPF under the theme Parliamentary Partnerships for 2020 and Beyond:

Reaffirming our commitment to resolutions adopted by the APPF which have sought to enhance the Asia-Pacific’s connectivity and participation in the digital economy, including the APPF27/RES/10 adopted in 2019 in Siem-Reap, Cambodia on Enhancing Connectivity in the Asia-Pacific through e-commerce, APPF25/RES/08 adopted in 2017 Natadola, Fiji on Promoting sustainable economic growth in the Asia-Pacific region through the digital economy and APPF24/RES/10 adopted in 2016 in Vancouver, Canada on Fostering innovation and connectivity;

Reiterating the Hanoi Declaration during the APPF in 2018, Vietnam on strengthening cooperation to capitalize on the potential of the digital and internet economy, facilitating e-commerce and digital trade in line with the Vancouver Declaration, the Tokyo Declaration, and the Pacific Basin Charter as reflected in the Valparaiso Declaration;

Reaffirming the United Nations Economic and Social Council Report ESCAP/75/20 in 2019 at the United Nations Conference Centre (UNCC) in Bangkok on digital connectivity and digital economy in Asia and the Pacific on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in the Asia-Pacific region particularly on information and communication technology, science, and technology innovation and the outcome of the 24th APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting in November 2016 which commits the APEC member economies on substantive work on digital economy and the reference to the G20 Summit, Hamburg in July 2017;

Aware that digital divide negates potential opportunities of the digital economy;

Cognisant that dialogue partnership on the basis of mutual benefits and common responsibility in improving participation in the digital economy and enhancing connectivity throughout the Asia-Pacific region is significant;
Noting that increased market concentration in digital markets has the potential to threaten the level of data protection and susceptibility of consumers to the risks arising from sharing economy;

Acknowledging the importance of digital economy inclusivity and connectivity enhancement in the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution;

Noting that digital technology is now inextricably linked to the competitiveness of economies, in supporting productivity, innovation, facilitate access to new markets and enable other trade opportunities;

Recognising the fundamental role of connectivity to supporting greater participation in and growth of the digital economy in the region;

Conscious that digital literacy, including through STEM-based education, helps to facilitate the adoption of digital technologies;

Acknowledging that digital technology also delivers positive social outcomes by improving access to education, medical and other services, and can help achieve the UN’s 2030 agenda for sustainable development;

Aware that by its borderless nature, effective action to support the digital economy requires an international approach, including to share the economic and social benefits;


1. Encourage the APPF Member States to establish a mechanism that fully utilises the benefits offered by e-trade platforms and in e-commerce as well as in digital trade towards fully digitalised economy in the region;

2. Strongly encourage the APPF Member States to develop vital infrastructure in the financial (investment), telecommunications, digital, science and technology in enhancing the knowledge-based economy;

3. Recommend the APPF Member States to formulate and encourage the integration of digital policies and laws into their country’s national development agenda and economic policies, while ensuring the protection of personal data and the promotion of cyber security in line with the international guidelines in exercising fair commercial practices and to strengthen cooperation among members;

4. Call Upon the APPF Member States on the efforts by different regional organisations such as APEC and ASEAN to promote regional connectivity in areas that facilitate ecommerce and to contribute towards finding interactions between different initiatives in benefiting the Asia-Pacific region as a whole and seek to align and harmonise regulatory frameworks where appropriate;

5. Strongly encourage all the APPF Member States to foster closer economic collaboration, strengthen business competitiveness, boost innovative and digital economic growth that target groups such as the Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) inclusive women and youth-led businesses;

6. Remind the APPF Member States on the conducive environment that enables stakeholders to benefit from digital globalisation and connectivity through affordable quality internet services which narrows down the digital divide hence empowering better and faster access to resources and market information;

7. Further encourage the APPF Member States to support and develop human capital with necessary skills through innovative training programs and sharing of best practices, specifically to address the future workforce to be 4th Industrial Revolution ready;

8. Call upon the APPF Member States with strong digital economy to share good practices and assist in trade flows in technical, infrastructure, skills and training, policies and regulations, in developing digital economy and connectivity among members;

9. Support collaboration among key stakeholders including governments, industry, academia and civil society, particularly in the development of new digital policies; and

10. Encourage APPF Member Parliaments to strengthen policies that aim toward enhancing consumers’ access to advocacy of protection and securing consumers’ rights to appropriate dispute resolution.


Resolution on Improving Participation in the Digital Economy and Enhancing Connectivity throughout the Region

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