The digital economy in Asia Pacific is expected to contribute USD 1 trillion to GDP over the next decade. Digitalisation and sustainable development are key to this growth.
Watch Ministers from Indonesia & Cambodia and other high profile policymakers from Vietnam and Philippines debate the importance of adequately utilising technology enabled solutions to contribute to a system-wide transition and achieve decarbonisation targets.
The convergence of digital technologies and the manufacturing sector has been proceeding at an unprecedented pace over the past decade, leading to advanced innovations such as Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, 3D printing, the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) inter alia disrupting the global industrial landscape. The economic gains associated with this shift are enormous, with the UNIDO Industrial Development Report 2016 estimating the increase in added value at between USD 16 and 35 trillion per annum by 2025. However, the advanced manufacturing landscape remains severely lopsided, with the UNIDO Industrial Development Report 2020 finding that just four economies (those of the United States, China, Japan and Germany) account for some 77% of advanced innovation patents globally, while 88 economies in the Global South play little or no role in the global advanced technology sector, either as users or consumers. Africa is particularly concerned with these growing inequalities for a number of reasons, as it is home to the majority of the world’s Least Developed Countries and faces a number of legacy issues preventing easy access to the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), most notably in terms of digital infrastructure.
Digital transformation was already underway before the COVID-19 pandemic hit Latin America and the Caribbean last year. But the health crisis accelerated this process, advancing technological penetration, the use of digital tools and the development of innovative solutions in the form of products, processes, and business models.
The COVID-19 situation has accelerated the adoption of digital transformation across governments, businesses and societies.