ASEAN Initiatives in Digital Transformation

asean digital transformation

Nobody can deny that digital transformation is rife throughout finance. What can be argued, however, is that some regions are quicker to embrace emergent technologies than others. ASEAN digital transformation probably falls into this camp, but only just.

Despite innumerable examples of ambitious Fintech in the ASEAN region and the Asia Pacific, there is still some uncertainty as to whether the region will adapt to the demands of a digital future in time for its consumers. According to Bain & Company, ASEAN’s digital economy makes up 7% of its GDP, which pales in comparison with China (16% of GDP) & the USA (35% of GDP).

In the face of increasingly digital lifestyles fuelled by internet and social media usage, there is considerable excitement in Southeast Asia for true growth of the digital economy. Victoria Kwakwa, Vice President of the Pacific and East Asia for the World Bank, claims

…Despite all this excitement, most businesses have yet to embrace digital strategies at the same high level of Internet use by the population. In other words, the full potential of technology as a driver of private-sector growth is not being realised. This is because the region still faces significant barriers to growing the digital economy.

Digital transformation across ASEAN

What can be done to overcome these barriers? Plenty, and a lot already is. Singapore’s regulatory bodies have integrated a top-down governmental plan, Smart Nation, to transition the nation into an digital innovation hub.

Neighbouring nations have followed suit. Malaysia recently launched ‘Industry4WRD’, an initiative aimed at speeding up the digitisation of local manufacturing companies, under the purview of improving efficiency and productivity. Similarly, the Philippines has promoted digitisation through its own i3s (Inclusive Industrial Strategy) initiative – which seeks to revamp the country’s struggling industrial, logistics and commerce sectors through the introduction of big data and analytics. Other programmes, including Thailand’s ‘Thailand 4.0’ and Indonesia’s inspired ‘Indonesia 4.0’ also share ambitious roadmaps to revolutionising their respective economies with urgent digital transformation.

Moreover, this transformation is being spearheaded on an even grander scale. The World Economic Forum in 2018 announced its Digital ASEAN initiative, a pledge to train 20 million people in Southeast Asia by 2020, with a particular focus on those in SMEs. Led by a coalition of leading tech companies including Cisco, Google, Grab, Lazada, Microsoft, Sea Group and Tokopedia – the pledge includes commitments such as hiring and training 200,000 digital workers across ASEAN.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is unfolding at accelerating speed and changing the skills that workers will need for the jobs of the future

said Justin Wood, Head of Asia Pacific and Member of the Executive Committee at the World Economic Forum. He added

These changes are happening just as the working-age population in ASEAN is expanding by 11,000 people every day – a rate that will continue for the next 15 years. Given these trends, it’s critical that businesses help to build digital skills in ASEAN

This pledge, as well as the above initiatives devised by ASEAN nations, are part of an effort to establish a regional movement among businesses committed to upskilling and educating employees.

At CFTE, we mirror this belief. And so, we deliver a learning approach that provides a clear framework of emerging technologies and their foundational concepts of Fintech. Few courses achieve this more comprehensively than Around Fintech in 8 Hours, our no-prerequisite foundation course designed for novices and professionals who want to join the flourishing Fintech scene. Join the Fintech revolution in Finance today! Additionally, we’re running a special promotion in honour of the Year of the Pig – check out our social feeds or contact us for more details.

As always, for the latest developments and events in Fintech, feel free to subscribe to our weekly newsletters after the jump below!

Subscribe to our Weekly Newsletter

ASEAN Initiatives in Digital Transformation

asean digital transformation

Nobody can deny that digital transformation is rife throughout finance. What can be argued, however, is that some regions are quicker to embrace emergent technologies than others. ASEAN digital transformation probably falls into this camp, but only just.

Despite innumerable examples of ambitious Fintech in the ASEAN region and the Asia Pacific, there is still some uncertainty as to whether the region will adapt to the demands of a digital future in time for its consumers. According to Bain & Company, ASEAN’s digital economy makes up 7% of its GDP, which pales in comparison with China (16% of GDP) & the USA (35% of GDP).

In the face of increasingly digital lifestyles fuelled by internet and social media usage, there is considerable excitement in Southeast Asia for true growth of the digital economy. Victoria Kwakwa, Vice President of the Pacific and East Asia for the World Bank, claims

…Despite all this excitement, most businesses have yet to embrace digital strategies at the same high level of Internet use by the population. In other words, the full potential of technology as a driver of private-sector growth is not being realised. This is because the region still faces significant barriers to growing the digital economy.

Digital transformation across ASEAN

What can be done to overcome these barriers? Plenty, and a lot already is. Singapore’s regulatory bodies have integrated a top-down governmental plan, Smart Nation, to transition the nation into an digital innovation hub.

Neighbouring nations have followed suit. Malaysia recently launched ‘Industry4WRD’, an initiative aimed at speeding up the digitisation of local manufacturing companies, under the purview of improving efficiency and productivity. Similarly, the Philippines has promoted digitisation through its own i3s (Inclusive Industrial Strategy) initiative – which seeks to revamp the country’s struggling industrial, logistics and commerce sectors through the introduction of big data and analytics. Other programmes, including Thailand’s ‘Thailand 4.0’ and Indonesia’s inspired ‘Indonesia 4.0’ also share ambitious roadmaps to revolutionising their respective economies with urgent digital transformation.

Moreover, this transformation is being spearheaded on an even grander scale. The World Economic Forum in 2018 announced its Digital ASEAN initiative, a pledge to train 20 million people in Southeast Asia by 2020, with a particular focus on those in SMEs. Led by a coalition of leading tech companies including Cisco, Google, Grab, Lazada, Microsoft, Sea Group and Tokopedia – the pledge includes commitments such as hiring and training 200,000 digital workers across ASEAN.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is unfolding at accelerating speed and changing the skills that workers will need for the jobs of the future

said Justin Wood, Head of Asia Pacific and Member of the Executive Committee at the World Economic Forum. He added

These changes are happening just as the working-age population in ASEAN is expanding by 11,000 people every day – a rate that will continue for the next 15 years. Given these trends, it’s critical that businesses help to build digital skills in ASEAN

This pledge, as well as the above initiatives devised by ASEAN nations, are part of an effort to establish a regional movement among businesses committed to upskilling and educating employees.

At CFTE, we mirror this belief. And so, we deliver a learning approach that provides a clear framework of emerging technologies and their foundational concepts of Fintech. Few courses achieve this more comprehensively than Around Fintech in 8 Hours, our no-prerequisite foundation course designed for novices and professionals who want to join the flourishing Fintech scene. Join the Fintech revolution in Finance today! Additionally, we’re running a special promotion in honour of the Year of the Pig – check out our social feeds or contact us for more details.

As always, for the latest developments and events in Fintech, feel free to subscribe to our weekly newsletters after the jump below!

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Subscribe to our Weekly Newsletter