Ms. Era Dabla-Norris, Ruud de Mooij, Andrew Hodge, Jan Loeprick, Dinar Prihardini, Ms. Alpa Shah, Sebastian Beer, Sonja Davidovic, Arbind M Modi, and Fan Qi
Digitalization in Asia is pervasive, unique, and growing. It stands out by its sheer scale, with internet users far exceeding numbers in other regions. This facilitates e-commerce in markets that are large by international standards, supported by innovative payment systems and featuring major corporate players, including a number of large, home-grown, highly digitalized businesses (tech giants) that rival US multinational enterprises (MNEs) in size. Opportunity for future growth exists, as a significant population share remains unconnected.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
Globally, the COVID-19 pandemic and associated safe distancing measures have accelerated the digital revolution. A similar dynamic is taking place in Singapore, a country at the forefront of digital usage, including through unprecedented growth of e-commerce. An empirical analysis of sector-level labor productivity growth in advanced economies, including Singapore, suggests that digitalization and innovation, captured through e-commerce, robotization, and research and development, are associated with higher labor productivity growth. Singapore has scope for a sizeable expansion of e-commerce (despite recent rapid growth) and of research and development. This would help the country further reap the benefits of the digital economy, notably through higher productivity growth, and accelerate economic transformation.