Southeast Asia – Digital economy

Is this the turning point for Southeast Asia digital economy?

Evidently, the pandemic has sped up the adoption of digital technologies globally, and this accelerated change in companies across many sectors in Southeast Asia (SEA).

According to TechWire Asia, an online news media, a report reveals that 40 million people came online for the first time in 2020, bringing the total number of internet users in the region to 400 million. This is up from the total of 250 million in 2015.

The report focusses on SEA’s 6 largest economies: Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Philippines and Vietnam. These numbers represent 70% of the 580 million people living in the 6 countries.

The size of the region’s digital economy exceeded US$100 Bil in 2021 for the first time. Experts believe if the current trends hold, it is set to triple to US$300 Bil by 2025.

Cloud has emerged to be the core foundation of this tech focus where the APAC public cloud services grew by 38% to US$36.4 Bil in 2020.

Google Cloud SEA MD Ruma Balasubramanian regarding the wave of change for Southeast Asia’s internet economy in the last one and a half years: “The market is just amazing. There’s so much demand across every single country in Southeast Asia contributing to the growth in the digital economy sector. Companies of all sizes wanting to solve their most complex business problems in the middle of a pandemic. What is happening in the last 18 months is just an incredible testament to the level of digitization across the region.”

HealthTech and EdTech have played a crucial role in the pandemic and with the boost in adoption compounded with fast-growing funding, it is likely to propel innovation in this space in the coming years.

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