ERIA Joins SEOM Plus Three in Surabaya, Indonesia
Surabaya, 15 July 2023: An Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and South East Asia (ERIA) delegation participated in the 40th ASEAN Plus Three Senior Economic Officials Meeting (SEOM) consultation.
ERIA Chief Operating Officer Koji Hachiyama presented a study on the digital divide among micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in ASEAN. The study revealed the state of the digital divide across different sizes, industries, and urban versus rural areas; obstacles for digitalization among MSMEs; and the progress of digitalization among companies during the COVID-19 pandemic.
He highlighted three key points: the significant gaps in digital tool adoption between small and large-scale companies; deficiencies in business knowledge, information and communication technology (ICT) skills, and localized digital tool adoption support are major obstacle for the digitalization of MSMEs; and the significant progress in digitalization among MSMEs, particularly micro-sized companies, during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hachiyama emphasized the significance of maintaining the momentum of digitalization among MSMEs and suggested public support initiatives, such as providing guidance and assessment tools, sharing best practices for MSME digitalization, offering business knowledge and ICT skills training programs, and facilitating offline business networking and community-building.