THE Fletcher School at Tufts University, in collaboration with Mastercard, launched the Digital Intelligence Index, which maps countries’ progress in advancing their digitization, fostering trust and integrating connectivity into the lives of billions of people.

Continuing with the 2014 and 2017 editions, this year’s index provides an overview of global digital developments, provides insight into the key factors driving change and momentum, and reveals what this means for an economy facing the challenges of a global pandemic and a post-pandemic future.

Specifically in the Asia-Pacific region, Singapore, Hong Kong SAR, South Korea, and Chinese Taipei are among the most digitally dynamic economies. South Korea and Chinese Taipei significantly outperformed the OECD growth rate in the second quarter of 2020 amid a global lockdown. These economies showcase the high level of talent available, active R&D collaboration between industry and academia, and a strong track record in creating and bringing digital products into the mainstream.

According to Bhaskar Chakravorti, Dean of Global Business at Fletcher, said a pandemic is perhaps the purest test of the world’s progress towards digitization. We have a clearer view of how a dynamic digital economy can contribute to economic resilience during global turmoil and can be positioned for recovery and change.

‘”Other key findings include: With nearly two-thirds of the world’s population online today, we are entering an’ after access’ phase, where access alone is not enough. Aspects such as quality of access, effective use of digital technology, responsible institutions, strong data governance policies, and growing trust are bigger factors in determining power competitiveness and digital sustainability,” he said.

He added that even young people in developing countries show high levels of digital engagement, a bright spot for governments seeking to expand digitization in their economies.

Meanwhile, Ajay Bhalla, President, Cyber ​​& Intelligence, Mastercard said there has never been such an urgent need to understand the factors driving digitization and trust in digital. With that knowledge, businesses and governments can work together to help 7.6 billion people around the world take advantage of the enormous opportunities it can generated by a digitally advanced economy.

“Although much remains uncertain at the moment, it is clear that digital success will be a key building block in our collective recovery,” Bhalla added.

Likewise Matthew Driver, Executive Vice President, Services, Asia Pacific, Mastercard said COVID-19 has been advancing digitization across Asia Pacific at least five years in several month, and only serves to further accelerate the development of the digital ecosystem across the area.

“With the increasing level of consumer trust and involvement, as well as the growth of digitalization in the small business segment, which is strongly supported by proactive action from the government, the future opportunities for the digital economy in the region are enormous,” he noted.

He emphasized, with Asia-Pacific poised to recover quickly from the pandemic, the strong performance of the two components of Digital Evolution and Trust will further support Asia’s leadership in digital. [sources/photo special]