"We will welcome platforms to operate in this region, but there should be added value," Indonesian Minister of Communication and Information Technology Rudiantara said at a joint press conference with other ASEAN communications ministers here on Thursday.
According to Rudiantara, the use of social media platforms in the Southeast Asian region is increasingly significant. Therefore, the leaders agreed that ASEAN should not merely function as a market for platform providers.
Early next year, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member countries will form a joint consultation forum to discuss some agreements with the platforms.
This consultation forum will gather the public and private sectors that support innovative service growth, maintain consumer privacy, and ensure a healthy business competition climate.
According to Rudiantara, ASEAN will be stronger if the members are united, rather than having to deal with the platforms individually. Through this cooperation, certain policies on digital platforms applied in a country are expected to be also run in other member countries.
For example, if the platform provider pays taxes in Indonesia, the company should also pay taxes in other ASEAN member countries.
In addition to synergizing in facing OTT companies, ASEAN member countries have also agreed to collaborate on regional cyber security, one of which is what a country should do when it is having cyber-attacks.
The ASEAN ministers welcomed the feasibility study to build ASEAN Computer Emergency Response (CERT) team to help facilitate real-time coordination and provide information on cyber threats among national CERT member states and ASEAN dialogue partners.
The member countries also agreed on ASEAN framework on data protection to strengthen data ecosystems, data regulation, and management.
At present, not all ASEAN member countries have had national data protection policies. Indonesia will only discuss laws on data protection in 2019.
Reporting by Natisha Andarningtyas
Editing by Libertina, Rahmad Nasution