Inclusive economic participation through

Digital economy and
technology

The promise of digital tech

Leveraging opportunity

A Digital Leadership

A Virtual Institute
of Digital Economy

Women Empowerment

Digital-ready Communities

Future of Work

An Ecosystem for Start-ups
and Social Enterprise

Smart Living for an Aging Population

The promise of digital tech

Big data, social media, ecommerce, artificial intelligence, block chain, cloud computing—digital technologies, if used well, can be enablers for achieving balanced, inclusive, sustainable, innovative and secure growth. They can be stepping stones for small businesses to global trade, and tools for the underrepresented to innovate and level the playing field.

Leveraging opportunity

But new technology also comes with disadvantages. Its effects are especially evident in the labor force through shortages of digitally skilled workers.

Governments play a crucial role in leveraging opportunities while preparing for the negative effects of disruption that come with the digital economy. This 2020, APEC will focus on enabling a larger segment of society to adapt to the industries of the future.

A Virtual Institute of Digital Economy

It is important that policymakers are able to understand the key issues in the digital economy and technology sphere so they may be able to enact programs and policies to close the digital skills gap and create a favorable environment for growth. Malaysia is proposing for the creation of a Virtual Institute of Digital Economy—a conducive environment for policymaking that will provide opportunities for policy professionals to engage experts on the digital economy, such as entrepreneurs, academia, corporations, venture capitalists, legal professionals.

Women Empowerment

In 2017, women’s global internet penetration rate is about 45 per cent, which corresponded to having 250 million fewer women than men online . The 2018 World Economic Forum data shows that women leadership roles are lower by 33% than men. Digital disruption is predicted to widen the gender gap by contributing to higher job losses for women.
The La Serena Roadmap for Women and Inclusive Growth, developed in 2019, encouraged APEC to take action among others on improving access of women to leadership positions in all levels of decision-making. Malaysia will continue efforts towards women empowerment and build upon existing programs and work plans in advancing policies relating to women in leadership in an increasingly digital economy.

Future of Work

The most in-demand occupations today did not exist 5 to 10 years ago, and 65%of primary school students today will end up working in jobs which do not exist yet. As the result of the exponential growth of technology, there could be an increase in the numbers of nomadic workers and digital freelancers. The creative economy and the digital economy correspond are main key drivers of innovation in the global economy and in society. Thus, fostering the digital and creative economies could be one of the strategies in creating inclusive economic opportunities for women, youths and other underrepresented segments of the society.

An Ecosystem for Start-ups and Social Enterprise

Making capital accessible to startups is key to ensuring that they can continue to innovate, gain new knowledge, create employment opportunities, pay taxes and ultimately contribute meaningfully to the economy. Being one of the main drivers of start-up ecosystem in the region, Malaysia plans to support start-ups through establishing an innovative start-up ecosystem; including by ensuring access to resources and assisting in network-building and partnerships.

A social enterprise is a business that pursues a social mission through an entrepreneurial approach. The proliferation of such businesses is seen as a stimulus to crafting more responsible, inclusive and sustainable entrepreneurship with a positive social and environmental impact. This is an alternative model for economic growth that APEC economies can pursue in ensuring a more inclusive and sustainable development. Malaysia intends to initiate discussions on the development of policies and programs for a more conducive social enterprise ecosystem in APEC.

Smart Living for an Aging Population

In 2017, about 10% of the population in APEC was aged 65 and above. This number will increase to 25% by 2050. APEC Economies have agreed on the impact of digital technologies and innovation on an ageing society. Despite the current hurdles for them in adopting digitalization including limited internet access, lack of awareness and inadequate facilitation and design, there is a need for a standardization in the areas of security, data transfer and communication to support and enhance their living standards.

Realizing this need for APEC to work towards embracing smart living for ageing population, Malaysia aims to continue promoting and mainstreaming efforts across different APEC fora to leverage technology and policies to the benefit of the growing seniors community.

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