Business leaders and policy makers in the Asia Pacific region met online last week at Mobile 360 Asia Pacific, where digital transformation strategies for the region were the topic of discussion.
Mobile 360 Asia followed a series of build-up events that took place earlier this month, with the event culminating in this week’s keynote talks that took place over three days between October 19 and 21.
“2021 showed how critical digital transformation can be, as digitalisation allowed people and businesses to combat the continued effects of the pandemic,” said the GSMA’s Head of Asia Pacific, Julian Gorman. “As digitalisation has accelerated, it has become clear that digital inclusion is of the utmost importance. Collaborative approaches will be key as more 5G networks are launched in the region as they unlock new and innovative technologies.”
The event builds off of new research released by the GSMA in the recent report “Digital Societies Report in Asia Pacific: Accelerating Progress Through Collaboration”, in which case studies showed that collaborative efforts can lead to better efficiency as well as the development of new and trustworthy technological ecosystems.
This marks the sixth annual edition of the report, which tracked the progress of 11 focus countries (Australia, Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Pakistan, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, and Vietnam), and analyzed the various key aspects of a digital society (digital identity, digital citizenship, digital lifestyle, and digital commerce) represented within them.
Also illustrated in the report is the fact that over the past decade, and despite the negative effects of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Asia Pacific countries made substantial advances toward becoming full-fledged digital societies.
“COVID-19, which has accelerated digitalisation, is a sobering reminder of the importance of a robust connectivity infrastructure, which is the backbone of digital innovations,” said Josephine Teo, Singapore’s Minister for Communications and Information, who was the keynote speaker of Mobile 360 Asia Pacific. “To enable our people and businesses to continue to seize opportunities in the digital economy, Singapore must continually invest in our infrastructure, uplift and upskill our people, and deepen our collaboration with the industry to transform Singapore into a living lab for digital innovations.”
Other key findings of the report include that close to 130 million people in the Asia Pacific region signed up for mobile internet services in 2020 and 2021 for the first time, and that by 2025, the number of first-time mobile internet users in the region is expected to climb to 333 million.