Introduction: Digitalisation is an economic game changer; opening up uncharted territories, creating new economic opportunities and delivering tangible benefits to people’s lives. The accelerated pace of technological advancements and disruptions to business models will create new paradigms for almost all traditional industries and companies to compete in. With digitalisation disrupting traditional businesses and trade, it is critical for economies to develop key economic strategies to stay globally competitive and provide sufficient growth opportunities and quality jobs for its people.
In 2014, the APEC Leaders formally recognized the role of the Internet Economy and its impact to economic development. They endorsed the APEC Initiative of Cooperation to Promote Internet Economy and instructed Ministers and officials to discuss the Internet Economy further, promote member economies’ cooperation on developing the Internet Economy, and facilitate technological and policy exchanges to bridge the digital divide. In 2015, APEC Leaders and Ministers welcomed the establishment of an Ad Hoc Steering Group Internet Economy (AHSGIE) to guide the discussion on issues arising from the Internet Economy.
AHSGIE has since developed the APEC Roadmap on Internet and Digital Economy building on previous initiatives. It is a framework that provides guidance on key areas and actions to facilitate technological and policy exchanges among member economies and to promote innovative, inclusive and sustainable growth, as well as to bridge digital divide in the APEC region. The roadmap has 11 focus areas, among which, it calls for: 4) Development of holistic government policy frameworks for the Internet and Digital Economy; 5) Promoting coherence and cooperation of regulatory approaches affecting the Internet and Digital Economy; and 9) Improvement of baseline Internet and Digital Economy measurements.
Internet and Digital Economy strategies are essential to economies that wish to promote innovative development and to increase economic participation in a systematic manner. In sharing best practices among economies with regard to these strategies, the Project Overseer (PO) hopes that this sharing will help economies develop their own Internet and Digital Economy Strategies and hence help to address the focus areas of the Roadmap highlighted above. Further, it would be useful to understand if there are any means to measure the success of the development of the Internet and Digital Economy and hence measurement metrics of Internet and Digital Economy development will also be discussed.
Project Description: The key objective of this project is to drive the adoption and development of an effective and coherent Internet/Digital Economy Strategies among APEC economies. It also aims to enhance mutual learning and understanding in how the progress of such a strategy can be effectively measured and hence identify areas of improvement.
This project is in line with the priorities set out in the Strategic Action Plan 2016-2020, as endorsed by TELMIN leaders, which seek to enhance the Digital Economy and the Internet Economy, specifically the objective 4.1) Enhanced ICT industry ecosystem.
The proposed project is a two-phased project which aims to develop a case study report on Internet and Digital Economy Strategies in various economies and a recommended measurement metric for reference, which could help to measure the progress of an economy’s development of the Digital Economy.
The report could cover efforts such as:
1) ICT Infrastructure, connectivity and platforms which enables the delivery of digital services;
2) Manpower and talent development strategies;
3) Trust and resilience in the use of ICT; and
4) Conducive regulatory framework in support of the Internet and Digital Economy.
Planned Activities: A two-phased project is proposed for the purpose of this project:
Phase 1: A self-funded workshop will be organised at TEL58, for economies to share about their Digital Economy strategies and how they measure the success of their strategies.
Phase 2: Based on the learnings from this workshops, PO will develop a report and recommend a set of measurement metrics that are relevant to measuring the development of the Digital Economy.
A questionnaire/survey would be circulated to economies to seek inputs for the development and subsequent refinement of the recommended measurement metrics. Draft report to be presented at TEL59.
Finalised report and proposed measurement metrics to be shared in 2019.
1) A half-day capacity building and information sharing workshop will be conducted at APEC TEL 58.
2) Report and recommended measurement metrics will be developed intersessionally. In addition, a questionnaire/survey would be circulated to economies to seek inputs for the development and subsequent refinement of the recommended measurement metrics. Draft Report to be presented at TEL59 for endorsement.
3) Finalised report and the “APEC Internet and Digital Economy Strategies and measurement metrics for the Development of a Vibrant Digital Economy” to be circulated as APEC publication, if relevant. (early 2019).