Asia beating global peers on digital engagement
Published: 17 May 2017
Asian economies are more digitally engaged relative to their global peers at similar stages of development, according to Deloitte, who today released the second edition of their Voice of Asia series. Deloitte's digital engagement indices for government,
Ric Simes, Deloitte Australia Economist explained
Asian countries winning the race on digital engagement
As the fastest growing region in the world and a significant driver of global economic growth over the past decade, Asia is assuming the digital leadership position in the 21st century. According to the Deloitte digital engagement indices for
Singapore and Hong Kong are world leaders, while the large population bases in countries such as China, India,
Digital technologies support countries in leapfrogging development hurdles
"Two elements have contributed to the success of Asia’s economies over recent decades. First, the opening of the traded goods sectors to external market forces and, second, encouraging the adoption of
The areas of business, digital infrastructure and consumers are most likely to benefit from digital technologies. As the region develops, digital will have a greater impact on economies focused on service provision relative to resource-intensive economies.
- For business, digital can encourage trade in the region by helping businesses, particularly small businesses, access global markets. In developed economies such as China or Malaysia, the use of online marketplaces, such as the platforms offered by Taobao, Rakuten,
eBayand Alibaba, have opened up additional markets for local businesses, and have been a boon for many small businesses.
- For consumers, digital can provide opportunities in terms of connectivity,
mobilityand social networks. India is leading the way with the highest number of Facebook users in the world (195 million in May 2016) and e-commerce is also expanding, with China now the world’s largest ecommercemarket. Across all countries, the potential to harness consumer engagement is high.
government, digital aids in the development of public infrastructure, particularly around smart cities, which can help leap infrastructure development hurdles. Digital government initiatives can also help to improve efficiency, transparencyand inclusiveness of government. Countries like Singapore and South Korea are global leaders. Their governments continue to actively explore how to embrace the latest waves of technological advances so that they remain at the forefront.
Sitao Xu, Deloitte China Chief Economist commented, “Digital technology has a role to play in helping businesses,
"Trust is a key element," said William Chou, Deloitte China TMT Industry National Managing Partner, "e-payment systems can allow people to transact online without cash or a physical meeting, knowing their money is safe and being transferred via a third party. For example, the Alipay escrow-based online payment platform provides consumers with additional security, where payment for goods will only take place upon receipt and inspection. At the same time, the availability of Alipay means that many Chinese consumers who
do not have credit cards are able to purchase goods online. Digital technologies have lowered the barriers to market access."
The move to digital is for everyone across the region, as innovation via digital means the region can provide new sources of competitive advantage, create new jobs and help alleviate socio-economic challenges.
For more analysis and details on the Voice of Asia, please visit Deloitte Insights.