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An Inclusive Digital Economy in the ASEAN Region

An Inclusive Digital Economy in the ASEAN Region
7 March 2024
Mima Sefrina
Inclusive, Inclusive Digital Economy, Digital Economy, MSMEs, ASEAN, Broadband Connectivity, Digital Finance

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The rapid development of the digital economy in ASEAN offers broad economic and societal opportunities but also accentuates disparities between urban and rural areas, large enterprises and SMEs, and various segments of the population. While inclusiveness has been a priority on ASEAN's agenda, there is room for improvement. The concept of an inclusive digital economy in ASEAN should extend beyond broadband connectivity and necessitates a precise definition through quantifiable measures. Identifying the key elements of exclusion and inclusion as a strategic approach to effectively address inclusiveness issues is essential to understand the barriers hindering the achievement of an inclusive digital economy. There is also a need to identify specific populations, understand their characteristics, and address their needs for inclusion in the digital economy. A robust, region-specific data system that is accessible to the public is critical. In ASEAN, an inclusive digital economy underscores the need to address digital skills, gender inequality, digital finance, and the empowerment of MSMEs as key economic drivers in ASEAN.

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