As an economic bloc, ASEAN is the fifth largest economy in the world. However, this is not reflected in its adoption of digital transformation. ASEAN member countries rank from top to 160 positions on the global Digital Adoption Index (DAI) published by the World Bank.
One of the biggest beneficiaries of the growing digital economy in Southeast Asia is the gaming industry. Sea – formerly Garena – became the first Southeast Asian tech company to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 2017. Sea is a gaming company but has also ventured into e-commerce and e-payments recently.
Singapore Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat will aim to strike a delicate balance in Monday’s budget: preaching fiscal prudence while doling out more social spending ahead of elections that could come as early as this year.
Indonesia is one of the region’s best success stories. Despite having faced economic turmoil in the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis under the authoritarian Suharto regime, Indonesia is today one of the fastest growing economies in the world.
The digital economy stands to change the way we look at taxes. In Malaysia, the previous National Front-led government was mulling the decision to raise revenue by taxing the digital economy.
Collectively, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is ranked third in terms of population, sixth in gross domestic product (GDP) and fourth in trade value.