2017 APSIG‎ > ‎

Moving to Digital Economy

2017.7.26 Wednesday 11:00 - 12:30

Lecturer:  Jim Foster
Abstract  Moving to a Digital Economy – 2017 APSIG Hot Topic Session – draft


               Jim Foster

  This presentation will focus on the companies and the technologies that are driving the transition to a fully Digital Economy and look out at the political, economic and social changes to expect over the next several years.  The “future” is not tomorrow but now,

By 2020, it is estimated that there will be 26 billion devices connected to the Internet, reshaping key sectors of the regional economy from entertainment to healthcare to manufacturing. In the expanding Digital Economy of the Asia Pacific region, information technologies and consumer-oriented technology will be further transformed by new operational technologies (OT) that will run factories and take charge of logistical systems.  In this new era, the Internet will be as pervasive as electricity in advanced nations and have an equally profound effect on lifestyles.

Among the major challenge is the issue of sustainable development and addressing the digital divide.  The Cloud, IOT, Big Data, AI and Robotics can potentially improve the lives of the next billion in Asia, but they also may exacerbate the differences between the advanced group of economies in the regions and the still developing cohort of countries that are not well positioned to absorb yet another wave of technology.   The problem may be most acute in countries like Indonesia and India where size, language and cultural difference pose special challenges.  

For the advanced societies, a key problem is the adaptation of legal and social norms to take into account a new world where e-commerce involves not just the exchange of goods but data flows, financial transactions, and the real-time availability of logistical information.   If nation-states are not able to respond quickly enough to the needs of businesses and consumers in this area, major players in the private sector may have to jump ahead of governments to create new norms and processes until national legal systems can catch up.  In this situation, trade policies such as the TPP may prove to be both a flexible and more acceptable tool for managing the Digital Economy than more politically sensitive Internet governance mechanisms that impact on national cyber sovereignty.