Kolkata, Dec 14 US Ambassador to India Richard Verma on Wednesday batted for boosting digital infrastructure in South Asia and asserted his country's support to India in bringing the region together.
"Bridging digital divide is instrumental to assuring our citizens can take advantage of the new digital economy," Verma said here at the Indo-Asia Connectivity for Shared Prosperity conference.
"Here in South Asia, the right investments in digital infrastructure will allow communities to leapfrog developmental challenges," he said.
Verma advocated bridging the digital divide in South Asia and "building a common vision based on shared values and norms and open network of exchange that fosters innovative ideas and solutions".
"There are two aspects to connectivity. Virtual connection for enhancing digital connections across the region and strengthening the connectivity of shared values and ideas," he said.
He noted the Indian government is "making important progress in expanding access through Digital India program."
"Connectivity is more than constructing bridges and airports. It doesn't mean you need to have same political systems or philosophy stretching across borders because we don't," he said.
He said: "Values matter and especially those values that are universal in nature."
Speaking on protecting vulnerable populations, combating trafficking, tackling terrorism and insurgency, Verma said a region that shares strong values like these will be naturally drawn together.
"Having the right software is arguably more important than hardware in connectivity. In this endeavour, US stands as your partner... from the hardware to software, we will continue to strongly support your efforts to bring this region together," he added.