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Capacity development, Education, Information and Communications Technology, Social development and protection

T20 and realizing education for all in the Digital Age

T20 and realizing education for all in the Digital Age
Education is a key driver for sustainable development (UNESCO 2018). However, the goal of realizing education for all in the Digital Age faces two major challenges. First, many countries and economies are still not ensuring quality education for all. Millions of children and youth still lack the necessary tools to realize their potential amid economic, political, and social strife. Second, with the emergence of the fourth Industrial Revolution and the growing use of automation, big data, and artificial intelligence, human labor is being substituted increasingly by machines or algorithms.

Economics, Industry and trade, Information and Communications Technology

The spillover effects of digital platforms

The spillover effects of digital platforms
“Over-the-top” (OTT) service providers are referred to as so because they allegedly ride exclusively on top of the infrastructure laid by telecommunications service providers. Hidden behind the term OTT is the notion that such providers do not invest in the network infrastructure yet provide the same services as telecommunications service providers. While this may seem intuitive to some through a cursory examination of the marketplace, what such assertions fail to consider are the numerous “edge-of-the-network” investments by OTT service providers as well as the massive efficiency, flexibility, and propensity-to-scale inherent in OTT business models.

Economics, Finance sector development, Information and Communications Technology

Fintech adaptation can bridge Asia’s SME financing divide

Digital innovation can improve financial access for SMEs
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) play a vital role as a driving force in economies around the world, especially in Asia. SMEs in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region are estimated to comprise more than 98% of the total number of enterprises, and they contribute to around 40% of gross domestic product.

Economics, Industry and trade, Information and Communications Technology

What can services trade policy do for sustainable development?

What can services trade policy do for sustainable development?
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development has many services dimensions; improved access to and provision of services are necessary for attaining many of the Sustainable Development Goals. Because of their effects on competition in services markets and the ability of foreign providers to supply services to consumers and firms in developing countries, services trade policies should be considered in the arsenal of policy instruments that can be used in efforts to realize sustainable development objectives. 

Economics, Information and Communications Technology

Productive services with the help of internet technologies

Productive services with the help of internet technologies
One long-standing concern in the economic field has been that services contribute little to economic development. Services would suffer from a so-called Baumol’s cost disease (Baumol 1967), meaning factors such as labor cannot be easily substituted for more productive factors using existing technologies, as it happens in manufacturing. Over time, this would lead services to become a drag on the economy relative to other more productive industries.

Health, Information and Communications Technology, Population

Piecemeal Policy Approaches to Aging Societies: Can They Be Avoided with Proper Data on Well-Being?

Piecemeal Policy Approaches to Aging Societies: Can They Be Avoided with Proper Data on Well-Being?
The rapid pace of aging in developed and developing countries, especially in Asia, requires data for informed decision-making to ensure the well-being of aging populations. But for many countries, data for sound policy-making, planning, and investment targeting have not been available. This has led to piecemeal public policies with little sense of priority.

Economics, Education, Finance sector development, Governance and public sector management, Information and Communications Technology

Mergers and acquisitions and corporate innovation

Mergers and acquisitions and corporate innovation
Technological innovation represents modern corporations’ endeavors to develop and accumulate knowledge, and it has long been recognized as a catalyst for economic growth and productivity increase (Solow 1957; Romer 1986; Aghion and Howitt 1992) and as a key factor in the competitive advantages of nations (Porter 1998).

Finance sector development, Information and Communications Technology

Blockchain pilots making waves in developing Asia

Blockchain pilots making waves in developing Asia
We’ve all heard the buzz about the potential applications of blockchain technology. But what’s actually happening in developing countries in Asia and the Pacific? Beyond bitcoin payments and remittances, blockchain exists largely in the pilot stage. Governments and banks are collaborating with technology firms to see if it can be used to solve persistent problems like traceability, identification, and trust.

Industry and trade, Information and Communications Technology

Digital trade needs more coordination, leadership

Digital trade needs more coordination, leadership
Electronic documentation in trade has made impressive recent gains in Asia and the Pacific. Up to 38% of banks in the region report progress in digitizing their operations in 2015, and more than a third of countries had partially or fully implemented electronic customs systems by the end of last year.

Information and Communications Technology

Going digital in the Pacific: lessons from Samoa’s online firms

Going Digital in the Pacific Lessons from Samoa’s Online Firms
More than ever before, Pacific firms are moving online. Will this increase e-commerce? This online activity is particularly good news in 2016, as the Pacific has witnessed an 8.2% jump in tourism arrivals. According to Pacific niche exporters, tourists constitute the majority of their overseas customers, often by visiting the seller’s website after they return home to seek out more information or re-order souvenirs.