Digital Economy: A Comparative Study in ASEAN
Keywords:ASEAN, Digital economy, NRI
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is an area with the rapid adoption of technology, the growth of internet and mobile phone users, region-wide digital initiatives to increase connectivity between markets, and the drastic acceleration of digitalization across practically all aspects of the economy. Currently, especially in the Covid-19 pandemic period, the digital economy is a key factor driving the growth of the region's economy. Based on the Networked Readiness Index (NRI), the study will analyze and compare the differences between ASEAN countries in terms of the digital economy. The purpose of the study is to understand the strengths and weaknesses of each country, thereby giving an overview of the potential of ASEAN countries in the period of digital economy readiness. The study results clearly show the digital economy gap and many differences in terms of the people pillar across countries. Singapore and Malaysia are among the top digital economies in the region; however, only Thailand made substantial progress from 2019–2021. Although ranked the lowest in the digital economy, Lao PDR and Cambodia have many positive improvements. Although ASEAN countries have strengths in digital technology, applying digital technology toward sustainable development is still a challenge for most countries in the region.
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