The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the digital transformation and underscored its importance for mitigating the economic slowdown, sustaining wellbeing, and speeding up recovery. Governments, smart policymaking, as well as regional cooperation play an essential role in helping to both enable digital transformation to occur and in facilitating access to technology.
In the fight against the pandemic digital connectivity and inclusion have become more critical than ever. The core Internet infrastructure networks takes on unprecedented importance. The capacity of technology to absorb and process big data in real-time and deliver bandwidth-intensive high-value-added services instantaneously heavily depends on the resilience of the ICT network infrastructure. In this regard, new emerging opportunities, challenges, and benefits of regional cooperation in East and North-East and North and Central Asia are rising.
Worldwide, many countries continue to experience an extended period of COVID-19 risks. There are no off-the-shelf solutions for managing such a complex crisis, in which measures to prevent transmission will have colossal economic and social costs. Countries are forced to confront hard choices of balancing the needs to save lives and to save livelihoods. The threat imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic therefore needs a systematic approach, in which the restrictions, states of lockdown and exit strategies all balance public health, societal, and economic needs.