Southeast Asian Countries Need to Close Digital Divide, Promote Equitable Growth amid COVID-19, Says ADB President


Southeast Asian countries need to expand investments in digital infrastructure and ensure equitable access to technology as economies recover from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, said Asian Development Bank President Masatsugu Asakawa in his opening keynote at the inaugural ADB Southeast Asian Development Symposium (SEADS) on 21 October 2020.

“We must close the digital divide and expand existing investments in digital infrastructure by building more and higher quality mobile broadband infrastructure and ensuring affordable internet access and coverage,” Mr. Asakawa said in a keynote address at ADB’s first Southeast Asia Development Symposium. “These steps can also enhance access to basic social services such as health and education and access to financial services. These investments will better equip countries to address the worsening income inequality and disparities in opportunities brought about by the pandemic.”