Asian markets emerge as major players in the digital revolution

Photo by Chensiyuan_ Wikimedia Commons

Developed markets in Asia-Pacific, such as Singapore, New Zealand, South Korea and Hong Kong, are identified as the leading the charge for a digital future, according to new research by The Fletcher School at Tufts University, USA in partnership with Mastercard.

With momentum and innovation on their side, these markets exemplify the sweet spot of advancement and future growth, the Digital Evolution Index 2017 research shows.

On the other hand, developing markets in the region, such as China, Malaysia, India, Philippines, Bangladesh and Indonesia, are evolving rapidly, and though are low-scoring in their current states of digitalisation, they are demonstrating the fastest momentum and significant headroom for growth.

According to their overall digital evolution scores, international trade hubs Singapore (6th) and Hong Kong (9th) make the top ten list of advanced digital economies globally.

In South Korea (7th), the digital environment and experience fostered by government and businesses is highly sophisticated.

“Adoption, the quality of digital infrastructure and institutions, and innovation collectively shape a country’s digital competitiveness, but governments also play a key role. The report also found that consumers’ trust in digital technologies correlates with digital competitiveness,” said Bhaskar Chakravorti, senior associate dean of international business & finance at The Fletcher School at Tufts University, and founding executive director of Fletcher’s Institute for Business in the Global Context.

In Singapore, the government is pushing the smart-city agenda to new levels by harnessing all public data to create a “virtual Singapore,” a genuine “smart nation.” This online platform will map out the performance of the city state in real time.

Ajay Bhalla, president, global enterprise risk & security, Mastercard added: “While it takes a complex combination of factors to bring a digital economy to the next level, momentum, innovation and trust are the imperative constants to becoming a successful digital nation. For Asia-Pacific, where nearly half (46%) of the region’s population is online, and 96% have access to a mobile phone which is higher than any other region, it is no secret that businesses and governments that are responsible for the region’s economic growth are looking to make sure they continue to stand out and break out when it comes to adopting and adapting to our digital future.”

The Digital Evolution Index 2017 is an in-depth look at technology adoption and the state of digital trust globally and it maps the development of 60 countries, demonstrating their competitiveness and market potential for further digital economic growth.

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