The digital economy has become a key growth engine for the next stage of development in Asia. The inclusion of digital economy related provisions into both the CPTPP and the RCEP as well as a growing body of bilateral digital economy agreements is strong evidence of the importance of attached to the growth of the digital economy by policymakers in Asia.
A composite index comprising of digital economy indicators finds a strong positive correlation between digital economic competitiveness and real GDP per capita in select ASEAN+ economies. This relationship could be interpreted in several ways. Firstly, it may be that a more developed economy naturally employs greater use of digital technologies and thus performs better in the index. Secondly, one may also posit that greater use of digital technologies drives greater economic development, which would be the hope of the policymakers. Regardless of the interpretation, it remains that if the economies of Asia were to develop, the role of the digital economy will likely increase.
For more on the digital economy, you may refer:
- Digitalising ASEAN: A Competitiveness Analysis
- International Competition in the Digital Age: An Analytical Framework
Article By Kway Guan TAN
Graphic By Yixuan GE