Resolution on Accelerating Digital Economy and Enhancing Connectivity

29th Annual Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum
13-15 December 2021

Resolution on Accelerating Digital Economy and Enhancing Connectivity


Draft Resolution Sponsored by: Republic of Korea, Australia, Canada, Indonesia, Mexico, the Philippines, Russian Federation and Vietnam

We, the parliamentarians of the Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum (APPF), participating in the 29th Annual Meeting of the APPF held in Seoul, Republic of Korea, under the theme The Role of Parliaments in Strengthening Resilience in the Post-Covid-19 Era:

Recalling the APEC Putrajaya Vision 2040 of “an open, dynamic, resilient and peaceful Asia-Pacific Community by 2040, for the prosperity of all our people and future generations” adopted by APEC Leaders in 2020, the Hanoi Declaration on “A new vision for Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Partnership” adopted on January 2018 in Vietnam which sets out the vision for the future development of the APPF to 2030 with an aim to strengthen cooperation to capitalize on the potential of the digital and Internet economy including facilitating digital economy, enhancing service competitiveness, and promoting quality and resilient infrastructure, sub-region and remote area connectivity, and other international outcomes such as the APEC Internet and Digital Economy Roadmap (2017), the APEC Cross-border Ecommerce Facilitation Framework (2017), the APEC Framework on Human Resources Development in the Digital Age (2017),

Reaffirming our commitment to implementing prior APPF resolutions which have sought to enhance participation in the digital economy and connectivity in the Asia-Pacific including the Resolution on Improving Participation in the Digital Economy and Enhancing Connectivity throughout the Region (APPF28/RES/04) adopted in 2020 in Canberra, Australia, Resolution
on Enhancing Connectivity in the Asia-Pacific Through E-Commerce (APPF27/RES/10) adopted in 2019 in Siem Reap, Cambodia, Resolution on Promoting Sustainable Economic Growth in the Asia-Pacific Region through the Digital Economy (APPF25/RES/08) adopted in 2017 in Natadola, Fiji and Resolution on Fostering Innovation and Connectivity (APPF24/RES/10) adopted in 2016 in Vancouver, Canada,

Noting that many APEC economies have launched their regulatory sandboxes, and other jurisdictions would like to use this experience as a reference in establishing their own sandboxes,

Noting the APEC Framework for Securing the Digital Economy in 2019, the G20 Leaders’ Statement of the Extraordinary G20 Leaders’ Summit in 2020, which commits to leverage digital technologies in fighting the pandemic, G20 Ministerial Declaration of the subsequent G20 Digital Economy Ministers Meeting,

Also noting the adoption of the ASEAN Digital Masterplan 2025 during the first ASEAN Digital Ministers’ Meeting on January 2021 to transform ASEAN into a leading digital economic bloc powered by secure and transformative digital services and technologies and the adoption of the Bandar Seri Begawan Roadmap: An ASEAN Digital Transformation Agenda to Accelerate ASEAN’s Economic Recovery and Digital Economy Integration at the 53rd ASEAN Economic Ministers’ Meeting in September 2021 to turn the ongoing pandemic crisis into an opportunity through digital transformation,

Recalling the APEC Connectivity Blueprint for 2015-2025 adopted by the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting in 2014 in Beijing, China, which embodies the aspiration of APEC economies for a seamlessly connected and integrated Asia-Pacific region by strengthening physical, institutional and people-to-people connectivity,

Recognizing the WTO’s Joint Statement on Electronic Commerce in 2019, wherein signatories confirmed their intention to begin negotiations on trade-related aspects of ecommerce,

Acknowledging that digital technologies can produce positive social consequences by enhancing access to education, medical and other services and improving employment opportunities for people in vulnerable situations, such as women, minorities, indigenous peoples, differently abled persons and those living in remote communities,

Being aware of the significance of innovation, digital technologies and digital policies as a key means to exit from the COVID-19 crisis, strengthen collective response to pandemics such as COVID-19 and prevent future crises,

Recognizing the necessity of support to narrow gaps within and between countries in the process of adapting to a new environment such as digital transition in the 4th Industrial Revolution,

Realizing that promotion of digital literacy through Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education facilitates adoption of digital technologies and that training and educating young people particularly in STEM will help ensure that our region builds and sustains digitally-skilled workforces,

Cognizant that international approaches are required to address newly emerging economic and social challenges of digital economy such as sharing of economic and social benefits if we are to effectively promote digital economy which has cross-border nature,


  1. Affirm the determination of APPF Member Parliaments to maximize their roles to complete the national institutional frameworks in support for further development of digital economy with focus on e-governments, shaping e-ecosystem of trade promotion and managing e-commerce platforms;
  2. Encourage APPF Member Countries, as measures to overcome the economic crisis caused by COVID-19, to establish national policies and regulations and expand government investment in supporting MSMEs’ digital transition, creating jobs in emerging digital industries, and accelerating the growth of digital economy, and share experiences to facilitate dialogues and engagement in the development of FinTech regulatory sandboxes with better understanding of related risks and barriers;
  3. Urge APPF Member Countries to facilitate the flow of data, strengthen digital infrastructure, technologies and consumer trust in digital transactions and, when necessary, harmonize polices and legislation for regional economic digital integration envisioned in the APEC Connectivity Blueprint for 2015-2025;
  4. Invite APPF Member Countries to work together to strengthen connectivity for early detection of and response to new threats to the region in the post COVID era such as new infectious diseases, natural disasters and cyber threats;
  5. Encourage developed APPF Member Countries to provide technical and financial support for the less developed Member Countries in building necessary infrastructure to speed up their transition to digital economy;
  6. Recommend APPF Member Countries to make sure that regulations on the infringement of personal privacy and sensitive state information and cybersecurity threats, which can surface with the integration and sophistication of regional digital economy, can be integrated, transparent, predictable and rules-based while seeking to align and harmonize the regulatory frameworks among Member Countries and take a balanced approach between the regulations and digital business facilitation;
  7. Encourage APPF Member Parliaments to improve their competition laws to better capture anti-competitive practices in the digital markets, for example, by defining new relevant concepts such as certain practices of digital platforms that harm competition;
  8. Encourage APPF Member Countries to work to enhance their digital infrastructure to achieve the ultimate goal of universal connectivity that enables citizens in the region, especially those marginalized and vulnerable to digital divide, to benefit from digital connectivity and fully exercise their rights in digital space by providing them with affordable, safe and high quality Internet services and opportunities to learn basic digital skills at affordable or no cost and communicating the benefits of universal participation in the digital economy and its importance to achieving equality;
  9. Encourage APPF Member Countries to consider ways of improving data exchange and infrastructure to make the data more convenient to use so that data-based policy making, project implementation and academic research can be facilitated, while ensuring compliance with requirements of national laws and regulations;
  10. Encourage APPF Member Countries to increase digital transition of public services to enable citizens to have access to public services wherever they want;
  11. Recommend APPF Member Parliaments to seek ways that promote cybersecurity, protect personal data and facilitate digital payments in e-commerce while using parliamentary scrutiny on national e-commerce laws, regulations and policies;
  12. Recommend APPF Member Countries to analyze and share the results of the potential uses of blockchain, issues of universal accessibility as well as their potential benefits and risks;
  13. Encourage APPF Member Parliaments to promote understanding of regulatory approaches affecting the Internet and Digital Economy and foster the mechanisms for parliamentary oversight of government activities to support digital economy in recognition that parliaments have the role to complete the national institutional frameworks in support for further development of digital economy;
  14. Invite APPF Member Parliaments to strengthen cooperation and exchanges to lead the way to enhance understanding and share experiences in digital economy and develop relevant skills education and training programs; and
  15. Recommend APPF Member Countries to support the APEC actions to develop sustainable digital economy and strengthen digital infrastructure and technologies while respecting applicable domestic laws and regulations.


Resolution on Accelerating Digital Economy and Enhancing Connectivity

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