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Malaysia ranks higher than other middle-income Asian economies including Thailand, China and Indonesia in the Global Digital Readiness Rankings.
Malaysia ranks higher than other middle-income Asian economies including Thailand, China and Indonesia in the Global Digital Readiness Rankings.

Asia Winning Digital Race

Once digital engagement is achieved, digital technologies can support countries in leapfrogging development hurdles, as well as harnessing the power of digital opportunities

Asia Winning Digital Race

Asia is assuming the digital leadership position in the 21st century, says audit, tax, legal and financial adivisory firm Deloitte in its Voice of Asia series report.
According to the Deloitte digital engagement indices for government, business and consumers, Asian economies are ahead in digital engagement terms, with almost all Asian countries above the world average, thestaronline reported.
The Deloitte digital engagement index scores each countries' Networked Readiness Index against GDP per capita, showing that every country in Asia, apart from Myanmar, has above average levels of digital engagement for the level of their economic development.
Singapore and Hong Kong are world leaders, while the large population bases in countries such as China, India, Indonesia and Vietnam have considerable opportunities for the future.
In middle-income countries in Asia, governments have been able to maintain strong growth agendas based on policies in areas such as trade, infrastructure and savings. Today, these countries are pursuing growth agendas, with digital taking a leading role.
“Malaysia ranks higher than other middle-income Asian economies including Thailand, China and Indonesia in the Global Digital Readiness Rankings in all three categories, i.e., government, business and individual," says Tan Theng Hooi, Deloitte Malaysia country managing partner.
According to Ric Simes, Deloitte Australia economist, while digital technologies have been synonymous with rapid and evolving change over the past four decades, the world is only at the tip of the digital iceberg when it comes to what is possible in the future.
"When applied on a global scale, we can see that Asian economies and societies are at the forefront of this revolution. Asia is leading the way in how digital developments can enable individuals, businesses and governments to do things differently and, often, more efficiently,” says Simes.

Benefits of Technological Change
Tan adds that in Malaysia, the rapid adoption of the digital development by individuals, businesses and governments is transforming the consumption behaviors, business processes, modes of people engagement and government facilitation for the better.
“Through our government’s active investment in and promotion of digital innovations, Malaysia is able to see the vibrant digital economy as a key to unlocking greater productivity and improving living standards,” adds Tan.
Once digital engagement is achieved, digital technologies can support countries in leapfrogging development hurdles, as well as harnessing the power of digital opportunities.
According to the Deloitte report, technological change has enabled the delivery of cheaper and more reliable solutions to address some of the key impediments to economic development. Further, investment in digital infrastructure will contribute to productivity in the same way as other forms of infrastructure.
“Two elements have contributed to the success of Asia’s economies over recent decades. The opening of the traded goods sectors to external market forces and encouraging the adoption of cutting edge technology wherever possible.

Overcoming Hurdles
"These elements are related and have meant that these economies have been able to overcome hurdles to their development, bypassing old or second-best technologies and practices along the way,” says Deloitte Digital Asia-Pacific lead partner Frank Farrall.
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, eBay and Alibaba, has opened up additional markets for local businesses, and has been a boon for many small businesses.
For consumers, digital can provide opportunities in terms of connectivity, mobility and social networks.
India leads the way with the highest number of Facebook users in the world (195 million in May 2016) and e-commerce was also expanding, with China being the world’s largest e-commerce market.
For government, digital aids in the development of public infrastructure, particularly around smart cities could help to leap infrastructure development hurdles. Digital government initiatives would also be able to improve efficiency, transparency and inclusiveness of government.

 

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