Asia’s emerging economies are embracing the digital revolution.
From the Philippines to Indonesia, developing nations across the region are jumping on the digital bandwagon faster than expected given their relatively low income levels, according to a new report by Deloitte LLP.
For economic policy makers, the shift matters. Governments, businesses and consumers are using digital technologies to leapfrog development hurdles. In India--which already has more Facebook users than the U.S.--digital transactions jumped 59 percent in March from December last year, the first month after the government announced a demonetization plan last year, Deloitte said.
In Indonesia, there are 1.3 mobile phones per capita in the country and most Internet users prefer mobile access, boding well for greater connectivity between government services and the wider populace; Indonesia also has more Twitter users than the U.K., Deloitte estimates show.
“Asia has become the center of global economic growth and by embracing digital, it will continue to lead global economic growth over the coming decade,” Deloitte said.
China is now the world’s largest e-commerce market, while Singapore and other Asian countries have been gaining ground in the global competition for attracting and developing business talent amid a drive to build high-tech hubs.
Growth potential is still significant across multiple industries in poorer nations, Deloitte notes. In Indonesia fewer than one in 10 small businesses describe themselves as having advanced online capabilities while 73 percent are offline or have very basic online capabilities.
At the same time, the Philippines, India and Indonesia still have some of the lowest digital banking penetration rates in Asia.