In an increasingly digital landscape, customer experience has emerged as a vital differentiator for businesses in every industry. As multichannel interactions continue to rise, customers increasingly seek personalised experiences that seamlessly connect across multiple touchpoints.
To meet evolving customer expectations, corporate digital satisfaction strategies are leveraging AI-powered personalisation to enhance the omnichannel consumer experience. By harnessing the power of AI, organisations can analyse vast volumes of customer data to gain valuable insights into individual preferences, behaviours and needs, enabling tailored solutions.
Machine learning algorithms allow companies to offer personalised recommendations, product suggestions and targeted promotions to customers across multiple channels, including websites, mobile applications, social media platforms and in-store interactions.
AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants play a pivotal role by leveraging natural language processing and machine learning techniques to accurately comprehend and promptly respond to customer inquiries in real-time.
Chatbots increase customer service efficiency and response times by delivering immediate and accurate assistance. They may answer basic questions, provide product information, process transactions and even address problems, creating a smooth and frictionless client experience.
Additionally, AI technologies provide sentiment analysis, which enables organisations to assess client emotions, views and levels of satisfaction across numerous digital platforms.
Organisations can acquire important insights into customer sentiment by analysing customer feedback, reviews, and social media interactions and adapting their strategies accordingly. This assists in identifying areas for improvement, responding to customer issues, and proactively improving the entire customer experience.
Personalisation at this level delivers a more engaging and relevant customer experience, enhancing customer happiness and loyalty.
The OpenGov Breakfast Insight on 7 June 2023 at the Westin Jakarta, Indonesia, centred around delivering prompt, accurate and highly tailored customer experiences that drive loyalty through cutting-edge conversational AI and machine learning intelligence.
Mohit Sagar, the CEO and Chief Editor of OpenGov Asia, emphasises the importance for businesses to effectively collaborate with the rapidly evolving field of artificial intelligence in today’s era.” Harnessing the benefits of technology and leveraging advancements in AI to enhance efficiency for both users and businesses entails tweaking or even doing away with conventional methods.”
The swift advancement of technology, coupled with the pivotal role of artificial intelligence (AI), has greatly contributed to boosting business productivity. Moreover, the pandemic brought about a paradigm shift in consumer behaviour within Indonesia, compelling 17.5% of traditional offline shoppers to venture into the realm of online shopping.
Consumers have embraced a wide range of online sales channels, including marketplaces, social media platforms, and websites. Notably, the proportion of consumers who exclusively engage in online shopping has surged from 11% before the pandemic to 25.5% in early 2021. Remarkably, post-pandemic, a significant majority – 74.5% – of consumers still exhibit a preference for online shopping, favouring it over offline alternatives.
To enhance customer satisfaction, the adoption of multi-channel strategies has become increasingly crucial. There are five key ways through which businesses can effectively enhance multi-channel customer satisfaction:
Data-driven personalisation (AI). When a business offers personalised experiences, such as the ease of accessing service information both online and offline, it indirectly creates a sense of being well-served among consumers.
Consumer data. Insights gained from data play a pivotal role for businesses, enabling them to understand the habits and behavioural patterns of their customers. By integrating consumer data from various sources, businesses gain a valuable understanding that facilitates informed decision-making and allows for the creation of targeted strategies in the future, tailored to the specific needs and preferences of their target consumers
Personalisation. Businesses should prioritise delivering tailored customer service, ensuring that consumers do not have to endure lengthy waiting times to obtain essential business-related information. One effective approach is to enhance chatbot or virtual assistant capabilities through the integration of AI technologies.
Revenue Innovation. By analysing consumer habits and patterns, businesses can make informed decisions that align with consumer interests. This understanding enables businesses to foster innovation and create diverse revenue streams, thereby driving revenue growth.
AI adoption. In the digital technology-driven world of today, businesses that fail to leverage artificial intelligence to enhance productivity risk losing out to their competitors. However, by effectively utilising AI and embracing innovation, businesses can transform themselves into consumer-oriented enterprises, propelling their growth and success to new heights.
Mohit believes in the present digital era, multi-channels not only boost consumer satisfaction and foster loyalty but also enable businesses to reduce costs and drive revenue growth. By offering customers many avenues to engage and make purchases, businesses can cater to diverse preferences while simultaneously streamlining operations and maximising their financial outcomes.
While AI-based multichannel strategies offer numerous benefits and advantages in enhancing business productivity, it is essential to acknowledge that there are challenges associated with their implementation.
An essential aspect for businesses implementing AI-based multichannel strategies is the responsible collection and use of consumer data. Handling and managing customer data across various channels necessitates strict measures to ensure data privacy and security, complying with regulations.
Unfortunately, there are instances where some businesspeople may not prioritise the protection of this data, which can have detrimental effects on both consumers and the integrity of the company itself.
Data leaks, such as those involving health or financial information, are of great concern among consumers. In light of these challenges, companies must adopt a proactive approach to address and overcome such issues, prioritising robust measures to safeguard sensitive data and ensuring the trust and confidence of their customers.
Similarly, companies should allocate a portion of their earnings towards building a skilled technological workforce capable of efficiently and effectively implementing strategies. However, it is important to acknowledge that companies, especially startups, may encounter challenges in achieving a quick return on investment (RoI) within a short time frame.
Additionally, it is necessary to have an in-depth understanding of customer needs and behaviour before implementing effective AI-based customer satisfaction. Companies must invest in consumer research and analysis for implementation to get maximum results.
“When implementing AI-based personalisation and digital satisfaction strategies, it is crucial to consider and plan for the challenges that may arise,” Mohit concludes. “By proactively addressing these challenges and having a well-thought-out implementation plan, businesses can increase the likelihood of successful execution and avoid common potential problems.”
Nathan Guy, Head of UCaaS, Asia Pacific, Zoom, highlighted the findings of a survey indicating that businesses globally made substantial technology investments during the pandemic, underscoring the importance of understanding customer and employee requirements. However, despite this recognition, finding the right approach remains challenging, as the need for flexibility in technology stacks becomes crucial in the face of constantly evolving circumstances and ongoing economic uncertainty.
“The question of whether the future workplace truly brings improvement for teams and customers is an important one. At Zoom, we believe it does,” Nathan says. “But to be successful, there are three key areas that must the addressed.”
Firstly, evolving collaboration and productivity frameworks are crucial to keeping up with the changing dynamics of work. Secondly, fostering better personal connections within the workplace helps create a positive and engaged environment. Lastly, meeting the updated expectations of both customers and employees is vital for success.
A report highlighted the significant financial investment of S$15 billion per week in technology during the pandemic, emphasising the need to establish a strong foundation in the technology stack to gain a competitive advantage for the future, Nathan reveals.
Moreover, the future needs of a hybrid workplace must embrace Technology Infrastructure, Flexibility, Communications and Collaboration, Emotional Well Being, and Training and Development.
Voice is considered the foundation of digital transformation, Nathan observes, serving as a natural bridge between the physical and digital realms. “In an increasingly connected world, voice engagement should be at the core rather than the periphery. IP Voice offers affordability, ubiquity, and high-quality communication, making it a crucial aspect of cloud-based voice strategies.”
Voice remains critical for future work, both in terms of customer and employee engagement, and businesses continue to invest in this growing market. Organisations report improved engagement, increased productivity, and enhanced collaboration through the adoption of advanced customer service applications.
According to Nathan, legacy collaboration infrastructure is being replaced by cloud communications to meet the needs of hybrid and remote work. The integration of various collaboration features, including messaging, meetings, conferencing, team chat, and content sharing is crucial for enterprises’ digital aspirations.
A collaboration platform is built on core technology, offering communication and collaboration solutions tailored to different industries and departments. Zoom has invested significantly in AI to enhance the collaboration experience. Ultimately, the focus is on serving customers and helping them thrive in the new era of work.
Customer-facing teams face various challenges that need to be addressed. By empowering these teams to become subject matter experts, organisations can provide customers with personalised and enhanced experiences.
Nathan reiterates that the goal is to bring product innovation together into a comprehensive solution that powers the modern workday for knowledge workers and teams, while also enabling better collaboration with external customers to drive business growth.
This encompasses employee collaboration, starting from checking calendars, chatting and emails in the morning, to meeting collaboration, casual collaboration through huddles, and concluding with phone calls. Similarly, customer collaboration includes marketing events, webinars, sales processes, and overall customer experience, all accessible through a single interface.
The focus is on maximising Customer Lifetime Value through the synergy between employee experience (EX) and customer experience (CX).
“While customer service leaders recognise the importance of consistently delivering good experiences, only a third of customers feel that customer service organisations are improving,” Nathan shares. “Losing a significant percentage of customers due to bad experiences can severely harm a business.”
Studies indicate that customer expectations have risen over the years, making it crucial for businesses to shift quickly and excel in CX. This highlights the challenge of meeting customer needs in an uncertain environment while facing resource constraints.
Nathan spoke about a Global CX Excellence Report which identified six pillars of CX excellence: personalisation, trust, minimising customer effort, meeting expectations, resolution and empathy. “Meeting these customer expectations requires holistic thinking and cross-team collaboration.”
Jayraj Nair, Customer Experience Lead-ASEAN, Zoom acknowledges that to redefine and transform the CX and EX, it is important to address the challenges of siloed teams and disconnected tools. According to reports, a total experience approach is vital and 60% of large enterprises are expected to adopt this by 2026.
To deliver consistently good customer experiences, it is essential to bring together employee productivity and CX strategies. By combining these two elements effectively, businesses can create a harmonious and seamless interaction between the company and its customers, resulting in enhanced customer satisfaction.
Organisations that provide a total experience, connecting employees and customers, are projected to outperform competitors in satisfaction metrics by 2024.
Employee productivity refers to the efficacy and efficiency with which employees carry out their duties within an organisation. When employees are productive, they can provide customers with superior service and support, ensuring that their requirements are met promptly and satisfactorily.
Similarly, CX strategies involve the planning and execution of initiatives designed to improve the overall consumer experience when interacting with a company. This includes personalised communication, streamlined procedures, user-friendly interfaces and effective problem resolution.
Zoom offers a comprehensive CX + EX platform that seamlessly integrates employee and customer experiences, says Jayraj. This unified experience is made possible by leveraging the end-to-end capabilities of the Zoom platform, allowing customers to access the desired functionality from the cloud when and where they need it.
“The introduction of the Zoom Contact Centre is seen as an exciting innovation that drives loyalty and retention through prompt and personalised customer interactions,” Jayraj explains. “With Zoom handling the heavy lifting, organisations can focus on their employees and customers.”
According to Andoko Wicaksono, Chief Information Officer, Bluebird Group, customer satisfaction is an important part of the growth of any business. It means knowing what customers want, giving them great experiences at every touchpoint and always getting better based on what customers say and what they learn from them.
Andoko shared the inspiring history of Bluebird, a company that was established in 1972 by a remarkable woman. Despite facing numerous challenges, Bu Djoko, a resilient and humble individual, initiated Bluebird during a difficult period. Known as Bu Djoko or Mutiara Siti Fatimah Djokosoetoeno, she served as the driving force behind the company’s enduring determination.
Andoko fondly remembers her as the beacon of strength that propelled the company forward. “From the beginning, she was the company’s source and now is the spirit that keeps it going.”
He knows that not all great companies can stay in business and keep doing well. Bluebird’s success is based on a set of absolute ideals. It grew because of the good values that Bu Djoko taught and because of the legacy of a never-quit attitude. These values are a feeling of caring, honesty, excellent customer service and a perennial desire to grow.
Andoko acknowledges that long-term business growth depends on customers’ trust. It builds loyalty, improves the brand’s image, makes customers happier and gives them a good experience. Building and keeping trust requires keeping promises, being honest, communicating openly and putting the customer first.
“When the whole business is responsible for customer service, it shows how important it is to have a customer-centred approach, seamless experiences, a full understanding of customer needs, empowered employees, consistency, and efficiency,” Andoko reiterates. “By taking this view, businesses can create a mindset of great customer service and gain a competitive edge in the customer-driven business world of today.”
Customer happiness has changed over time, from making sure everyone gets a fair deal to making sure each customer has a good experience. Companies now know that keeping customers happy is a strategic must that affects their brand’s image, customer loyalty and business growth.
Andoko believes that businesses must give customers great experiences and build long-term connections with them by adapting to their changing needs and using technology.
“For a high availability system to be cost-effective, it needs a balanced method that takes both cost optimisation and system reliability into account,” says Andoko.
In today’s fast-paced and connected world, customer service representatives need to be able to move around. By using mobile technology and giving employees the tools and resources they need, organisations can empower their teams to serve customers well no matter where they are.
Andoko agrees that data privacy is a very important part of building and keeping trust between people and organisations. When people believe that their personal information is being treated carefully and responsibly, they are more likely to do business with companies, share their data and take part in digital interactions. Keeping data private gives companies a good name and helps them build better relationships with their customers.
“Organisations that put data protection first show that they are committed to being good stewards of data and making the world a safer and more trustworthy place,” Andoko explains.
Andoko believes that AI can enable businesses to understand customer preferences and improve their service by analysing vast amounts of data, including customer interactions, purchasing behaviour, demographics and online activities
AI-based customer choice means using technologies and algorithms that use artificial intelligence to learn about and predict customer preferences and behaviours. AI-driven insights let businesses learn about and meet the needs of each customer, improve customer happiness, and grow their businesses.
“By using AI technologies, companies can get more out of their customer data, make better decisions, and build stronger, longer-lasting relationships with their customers,” Andoko concludes.
Jayraj expressed his gratitude to all the delegates for their participation in the event, acknowledging that it has provided valuable insights into the major challenges confronting industries across various sectors. The event has shed light on the importance of devising effective strategies to tackle these challenges and successfully overcome them.
He emphasised the importance of identifying the most significant challenges for industries to maintain competitiveness and thrive amid a constantly evolving business landscape. These challenges can vary depending on the industry but may include factors such as technological disruptions, changing consumer expectations, intense competition, regulatory changes, and economic uncertainties.
Once the challenges are recognised, organisations can devise appropriate strategies to tackle them head-on. These strategies may involve a combination of innovation, agility, collaboration and a customer-centric approach. This proactive approach enables businesses to stay ahead of the curve and adapt effectively to the changing demands and dynamics of their respective industries.
“Understanding the biggest challenges faced by industries and developing appropriate strategies to tackle them is crucial for long-term success,” says Jayraj. “By embracing innovation, agility collaboration, and a customer-centric approach, industries can navigate challenges, seize opportunities, and thrive in a rapidly changing business environment.”
Mohit stresses the significance of collaboration in addressing industry challenges. By fostering partnerships, alliances, and collaborations with other organisations, industries can leverage shared resources, expertise, and insights to tackle challenges more effectively. Collaborative efforts enable industries to combine their strengths and work towards innovative solutions that drive progress and overcome obstacles together.
A customer-centric approach is vital in navigating industry challenges successfully. By understanding and addressing the evolving needs and expectations of customers, industries can tailor their products, services, and experiences to meet and exceed customer demands.
“This can involve gathering customer feedback, leveraging data analytics and personalising offerings to enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty,” Mohit concludes.
China Construction Bank (CCB) was recently commended by Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat for reaching an important milestone in Singapore, which is evidence of the long-lasting collaboration that has developed between the two countries over the past 25 years.
The CCB is one of China’s four largest state-owned banks and is actively expanding its business abroad, with branch offices in Hong Kong, Macau, and Singapore, among other places.
In 1998, when CCB made the bold decision to establish a presence in Singapore, the Asian economies were emerging from the depths of the Asian Financial Crisis. CCB’s move to set up shop in Singapore was a bold show of faith in the future of Asia and a belief that the region was poised for a resilient comeback.
Over the years, CCB has deepened its roots in Singapore, forming vital partnerships and emerging as one of CCB’s largest overseas nodes. DPM Heng Swee Keat, who once led the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), recalls productive meetings with CCB’s leadership regarding their expansion plans in the region.
This partnership led to significant milestones, including MAS upgrading CCB’s Singapore branch to a wholesale bank in 2010 and subsequently to a Qualifying Full Bank (QFB) in 2020.
The timing of this expansion is crucial, as it enables CCB to support Chinese companies looking to explore new opportunities while also contributing to the internationalisation of the renminbi.
Simultaneously, it provides invaluable support to Singaporean companies with aspirations in the Chinese market. Singapore’s status as an international financial centre ensures a plethora of growth opportunities for both CCB and Singapore.
Financial cooperation has been a cornerstone of the enduring relationship between Singapore and China. Recent upgrades in their partnership have expanded the scope of activities, going beyond traditional corporate and commercial lending to include green financing solutions, offshore debt raising, and even FinTech and innovation research in Singapore.
Regulators from both nations have joined hands to explore emerging areas like sustainable and digital finance, aiming to strengthen cross-border collaboration and deepen capital market connectivity within the region.
This is due to the rise of digital technology which has transformed the financial landscape, leading to the emergence of digital finance. This encompasses a wide range of innovations, including mobile banking, digital payments, blockchain technology, and digital currencies.
By exploring digital finance, Singapore and China are not only embracing financial technology (FinTech) but also revolutionising the way financial services are accessed and delivered. This shift has the potential to enhance financial inclusion, streamline transactions, and increase the efficiency of capital markets. Also, it opens doors to cross-border collaboration in developing and adopting cutting-edge FinTech solutions.
By strengthening capital market connectivity, these nations are not only boosting their own financial sectors but also attracting foreign investments, promoting regional economic stability, and potentially positioning themselves as hubs for sustainable and digital finance in Asia.
Innovations in digital finance and technology have revolutionised access to banking services and improved efficiency. CCB’s Fintech innovation lab in Singapore offers a platform for research, technology sharing, and the forging of new partnerships. These innovations are poised to enhance resource allocation, promoting real growth and job creation.
The collaboration between Singapore and China in these emerging areas is a strategic move to shape the financial landscape of the future, where sustainability, innovation, and cross-border cooperation will be key drivers of success.
The Minister for Finance, Minister for Women, and Minister for the Public Service of Australia provided updates on technology and digital identity-related legislation. The Minister delved into the topic of Digital ID and its significance for Australia’s future.
The primary focus of the address was the introduction of the draft Digital ID legislation, marking the commencement of consultations for the exposure draft. She highlighted that Digital ID is akin to an online version of presenting one’s passport or driver’s license to verify their identity but without relinquishing the physical document. It aims to provide a secure and convenient way to verify identity online.
The draft Digital ID legislation, now open for consultation, represents a significant milestone in Australia’s efforts to create a national Digital ID system. The Minister outlined four guiding principles for this system: security, convenience, voluntariness, and inclusivity. She stressed that Digital ID would remain voluntary, ensuring alternate channels for those who prefer not to use it.
Moreover, Digital ID is seen as a means to enhance inclusion by bringing government services online and extending their accessibility to underserved communities, including individuals with disabilities. However, the Minister emphasised that those unable or unwilling to obtain a Digital ID would still have access to government services through traditional channels.
The current system, which operates without legislation, allows individuals with Digital IDs to verify their identity without repeatedly providing sensitive documents. Nevertheless, it has limitations, as it is not yet a nationwide system and private sector providers cannot verify individuals against government-issued ID documents. The government envisions a national Digital ID system as an important economic, productivity, and security reform, and efforts are underway to address these shortcomings.
To ensure trust, data protection, and choice in the Digital ID system, the draft legislation establishes governance arrangements, a regulator (with the ACCC as the interim regulator), and privacy safeguards. Senator Gallagher emphasised the need for explicit consent for sharing identity information, the secure deletion of biometric data, and the prohibition of using identity data for direct marketing purposes.
Additionally, the Minster announced the formation of an AI taskforce, in collaboration with colleague Ed Husic, to ensure responsible and safe usage of AI across government agencies. AI has the potential to improve productivity within the APS and enhance government services, but it also requires careful management to mitigate risks.
The government is committed to creating boundaries and safeguards for emerging technologies like AI. The AI Taskforce will assess the risks and benefits of different AI systems within the public service.
The upcoming release of the first Long Term Insights Brief on AI and trust in public service delivery was also mentioned. Four key findings from the brief highlighted the importance of designing AI with integrity, preserving empathy in service design, enhancing public service performance, and investing in AI literacy and digital connectivity for all Australians.
The Minister expressed her determination to see the establishment of an Australian Digital ID system through legislation, despite the challenges and opposition. She acknowledged that it has been an eight-year work in progress, but she believes it is a worthy project with significant benefits for individuals, businesses, and the economy as a whole.
The address highlighted the importance of Digital ID legislation and AI governance in shaping Australia’s technological future. These initiatives aim to enhance security, convenience, and inclusivity while safeguarding individuals’ privacy and ensuring responsible AI usage within the public service.
Efforts to advance digital identification in Australia align with the country’s broader initiatives to establish a national Digital ID system, as discussed by the Minster. The focus of one pilot program, reported on by OpenGov Asia earlier, was on enabling individuals to prove their identity without the need for multiple physical documents corresponds to the principles of Digital ID outlined by the Minister, emphasising secure digital verification over physical information exchange.
Additionally, student volunteers from Deakin University demonstrated practical applications of digital identity within the education sector, mirroring the efficiencies mentioned by Senator Gallagher in her speech. These developments reflect Australia’s growing interest and innovation in the digital identification ecosystem.
Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia will cooperate in the digital economy. Experts have said that the substantial potential for trade and investment collaboration among the countries has not yet been fully realised.
The three governments jointly organised a conference to discuss digital economic development trends and their potential to enhance trade and investment among the countries, opportunities and challenges arising from digital transformation for the growth of trilateral ties, and strategies to advance their cooperative efforts in the digital era. The conference reflects the countries’ readiness to build digital-transformation-oriented socio-economic infrastructure.
Experts at the event recommended that the sides establish and improve institutional and legal environments that align with the demands of the international integration era within the context of the digital economy. Additionally, the nations should invest in developing digital infrastructure to foster their national digital economies.
The conference, which was organised by the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences (VASS), Lao Academy of Social and Economic Sciences (LASES), and Royal Academy of Cambodia (RAC), saw the participation of over 100 experts, managers, and diplomats from the three countries.
According to a representative from VASS, prioritising the advancement of the digital economy is considered a key task in accelerating the restructuring of an economy. This approach is closely linked with innovation in the growth model and the enhancement of growth quality. The aim is to assist a nation in escaping the middle-income trap and progressing toward becoming a fully developed, industrialised country. The trend presents both opportunities and challenges for countries involved, as they work to develop and expand their investment and commercial partnerships.
An official from LASES noted that Laos is in the early stages of its digital transformation journey, encompassing multiple sectors, including commerce and investment. Consequently, Laos is eager to collaborate with experts from Vietnam and Cambodia, aiming to exchange knowledge and gain insight from their respective digital transformation efforts.
Highlighting the longstanding bond among the three nations, an official from RAC acknowledged that in the realm of digital transformation, Vietnam has been making swifter advancements compared to Cambodia and Laos, particularly in sectors like tourism, commerce, and investment. Collaborative efforts among these nations, particularly in the domain of the digital economy, hold considerable importance in advancing the development of each country.
In 2020, Vietnam kicked off a national digital transformation programme, under which the country would renovate the management and administration activities of the government, the production and business activities of enterprises, and the overall way of living and working. It is working to develop a safe, humane, and wide digital environment. The national digital transformation programme has the dual purpose of both developing the digital government and economy and establishing Vietnamese digital businesses with a global capacity.
In the second quarter of 2023, the digital economy contributed approximately 15.26% to the total Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Vietnam. Compared to 2021, the growth of Vietnam’s national digital transformation index did slow down, but the component indices of digital government, digital economy, and digital society still maintained a high growth rate of 45-55%.
Vietnam’s digital economy was valued at around $14 billion in 2020, showing remarkable growth of 450% since 2015. Projections indicate that it is expected to expand by roughly 30% between 2020 and 2025.
Minister of PANRB Abdullah Azwar Anas stated that in 2023, the diplomatic relations between the Republic of Indonesia and Korea will reach its 50th year. Both countries continuously work to enhance their relations and cooperation, both bilaterally, regionally, and multilaterally.
In light of this, the governments of Indonesia and Korea are continuing their cooperation in Electronic Government Systems (EGS) through the Digital Government Cooperation Forum. This event, organised through the collaboration of the Ministry of Administrative and Bureaucratic Reform (PANRB), the Ministry of the Interior and Safety (MoIS), and the National Information Society Agency (NIA), discusses the implementation of cooperation in 2023 and the cooperation project plans for 2024.
“The closeness of this relationship and cooperation is certainly supported by the complementary nature of resources and advantages possessed by Indonesia and Korea, in addition to the excellent economic and political progress, making opportunities for cooperation in various sectors increasingly wide open,” said Minister PANRB Abdullah Azwar Anas.
In 2023, the governments of Indonesia and Korea embarked on a cooperation project related to digital ID development strategies and poverty alleviation digitalisation strategies. As for the extension of the DGCC cooperation project in 2024, there are several project proposals from the DGCC Committee, including support for government efforts in digitalising Nusantara City into a smart city focusing on intelligent government aspects.
“These cooperation proposals include the use of Big Data and AI for government administrative services, open-source technology-based designs, and big data designs in service provision,” explained Anas.
In his opinion, strengthening the strategic partnership between Korea and Indonesia for a shared future, especially in digital transformation, is not just an aspiration but a necessity. Indonesia’s digital transformation is already on the right track, where digital transformation serves as an accelerator for development acceleration.
Strengthening partnerships with Korea, one of the global technology industry leaders can bring Indonesia significant benefits. Korea has extensive experience and expertise in digital transformation and cutting-edge technologies such as artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, and 5G. Through knowledge sharing and close collaboration, Indonesia can accelerate the implementation of these technologies to support various sectors, including industry, education, healthcare, and public services.
Furthermore, strengthening this partnership can also open doors for investments in Indonesia’s technology ecosystem. With financial and technical support from Korea, Indonesian startups and technology companies can further develop their innovations and compete in the global market. This will create new job opportunities, drive economic growth, and strengthen Indonesia’s position in an increasingly interconnected international community.
“Interoperability of systems and applications continues to be pursued to realise integrated services nationally. However, we continue to strive and learn best practices from various countries, especially Korea, to strengthen digital transformation breakthroughs in Indonesia,” he said.
NIA President Jong Sung Hwang stated that in the future, his agency will actively assist Indonesia in digital governance, similar to what they did by establishing NIA in 1987 to support the digitalisation of the South Korean government. “The South Korean government used to have 17,060 silo systems, but they managed to integrate them all into an all-in-one service,” explained Jong Sung Hwang.
Jong Sung Hwang added that in the era of digital governance, everything should run smoothly, and data should be easily accessible. “Usually, data preparation takes a lot of time, but with data infrastructure, it can be done more quickly and data is easier to use,” he added.
In an era where technology defines many aspects of daily life, strengthening a strategic partnership with Korea in digital transformation is not just an option but a necessity. This step will help Indonesia address challenges and seize opportunities from the global digital revolution. With strong cooperation between the two countries, Indonesia can achieve a brighter and more sustainable future in the digital era.
In a resolute move to drive technological innovation and secure a prominent position on the global stage, China significantly bolstered its investment in research and development (R&D) in 2022. The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) revealed that the country allocated an impressive 3.08 trillion yuan (S$422.1 billion) to R&D, marking a 10.1% year-on-year increase.
This surge in R&D funding underscores China’s unwavering dedication to advancing basic research and achieving breakthroughs in critical technologies.
The amplified R&D investment not only fuels technological innovation within Chinese enterprises but also enhances their core competitiveness on the international front. Experts believe that this substantial investment will inject a potent dose of momentum into China’s ongoing economic recovery.
The surge in R&D investment reflects China’s resolute implementation of an innovation-driven development strategy, positioning the nation as a science and technology powerhouse. This strategy equips China with a competitive edge in the fierce international arena, driving the creation of new growth engines.
Pan Helin, co-director of the Digital Economy and Financial Innovation Research Centre at Zhejiang University’s International Business School, underscores the pivotal role of continuous investment in basic scientific research.
He highlights its significance in fostering high-quality economic growth and promoting the intelligent transformation and upgrading of traditional industries. Pan calls for harnessing the leading role of enterprises in driving technological innovation, thereby ensuring sustainable progress.
Enterprises in China are indeed heeding this call, expanding their investments in vital sectors and laying a robust foundation for pioneering core technologies in key domains. The NBS highlighted the government’s commitment to providing continued financial support and encouraging local authorities to amplify their R&D investments while optimising the efficiency of capital utilisation.
China’s prowess in science and technology innovation has undergone a remarkable transformation in recent years. The 2022 Global Innovation Index, released by the World Intellectual Property Organisation, positioned China at the 11th spot globally, making it the only middle-income economy within the top 30.
Further, Luo Zhongwei, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences’ Institute of Industrial Economics advocates intensifying investments in cutting-edge and forward-looking fields, including quantum information, artificial intelligence (AI), biological sciences, new energy, and new materials.
According to him, these investments are essential to achieve breakthroughs in key domains through independent innovation, particularly as protectionism continues to rise in some countries.
China’s intensified investments in cutting-edge fields like quantum information and AI confer a multitude of advantages. This commitment propels China to a position of technological leadership on the global stage. By allocating substantial resources to these transformative technologies, China not only sets industry standards but also influences international trends and fosters innovation.
Besides, these investments fuel economic growth by catalysing the development of new industries and markets. Quantum information and AI have the potential to spawn high-tech startups, generate employment opportunities, and stimulate economic prosperity.
As China excels in these domains, it enhances its global competitiveness, exporting technological advancements, products, and expertise while strengthening its standing in international trade and diplomacy.
Also, this strategic move ensures China’s national security and technological sovereignty. Quantum information and AI play pivotal roles in safeguarding against cybersecurity threats and advancing military capabilities.
Likewise, these investments reduce China’s reliance on foreign technology, allowing greater control over critical infrastructure and ensuring resilience against external disruptions. Overall, China’s intensified focus on these advanced fields promises not only technological leadership but also economic growth, national security, and global influence.
The Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP) spearheaded an initiative aimed at promoting innovation and technology in the biotech sector, showcasing Hong Kong’s pioneering advancements and entrepreneurial spirit.
This initiative was part of the “Think Business, Think Hong Kong” event organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) in Paris recently. The event was a platform to underscore the potential for cross-border collaboration between Hong Kong and France in the field of biotechnology and innovation.
The CEO of HKSTP emphasised the critical purpose behind this endeavour. He pointed out the immense potential for synergy and cooperation between Hong Kong and French biotech ecosystems, highlighting their role in propelling startups and pharmaceutical companies to global prominence.
The journey of biotech innovation is long and arduous, and comprehensive support is essential. This initiative aimed to highlight Hong Kong’s ability to nurture and support biotech innovators throughout their growth trajectory and establish the city as a global hub for innovation and technology.
At its core, this initiative sought to underscore Hong Kong’s strengths in driving innovation to global success. It aimed to showcase the city’s unique ecosystem that fosters innovation and technology, making it a prime destination for biotech entrepreneurs. Moreover, it underlined the immense market potential in Asia as a growth engine for the global biotech industry.
The thematic session organised by HKSTP and the accompanying pavilion, titled “Unlocking Asia’s Opportunities in Healthcare Innovation,” was central to this initiative. These components received a warm reception from the French biotech and pharmaceutical industry.
Four distinguished biotech experts from Hong Kong-based ventures were featured, collectively illustrating Hong Kong’s capacity to lead in global innovation and technology. They highlighted the city’s potential as a gateway to the Asian market, positioning it as a central hub for biotech growth and development.
To further accentuate the significance of this initiative, a special gala dinner was convened, attended by influential leaders from the French, European, and Hong Kong business communities. Key dignitaries including the President of the Ile de France Region, the Financial Secretary of the HKSAR Government, and the Chairman of HKTDC were present. This gathering aimed to foster meaningful connections and collaborations that would propel innovation and technology in the biotech sector forward.
HKSTP’s initiative was not just about an event; it was about catalysing collaboration and innovation in the biotech sector. It sought to highlight Hong Kong’s unique strengths as a global player in biotech innovation and technology. By bringing together experts, entrepreneurs, and industry leaders, this initiative aimed to pave the way for groundbreaking advancements in biotech, positioning Hong Kong as a prominent player in the international innovation and technology landscape.
OpenGov Asia previously reported that the Government Chief Information Officer of Hong Kong led a delegation from the city’s innovation and technology (I&T) sector to the 25th China International Software Expo (CISE). The mission aimed to strengthen collaboration and explore business opportunities in the technology sector.
The Hong Kong Pavilion at CISE showcased more than 20 innovative I&T products and solutions sourced from esteemed competitions like the Hong Kong ICT Awards and the “Maker in China” SME Innovation and Entrepreneurship Global Contest. These exhibits covered cutting-edge domains such as artificial intelligence, virtual reality, cloud computing, and biotechnology.
These innovations spanned sectors like fintech, smart construction site management, and digital entertainment, demonstrating the integration of digital technology into the tangible economy. To engage potential buyers and partners, the Hong Kong Pavilion featured a mini-stage for exhibitors to present their products and services.
This delegation’s participation in CISE emphasised Hong Kong’s technological capabilities and commitment to international collaboration. It aligned with Hong Kong’s goal of becoming a global hub for technological innovation in a rapidly evolving I&T landscape.
The Union Cabinet has approved the signing of three separate memoranda of understanding (MoUs) from earlier this year between India and Sierra Leone, Antigua & Barbuda, and Armenia. These MoUs will facilitate cooperation in the realm of exchanging successful digital solutions that have been deployed at a national level to boost digital transformation initiatives.
Under the memoranda of understanding, the countries will share experiences and digital technology-driven solutions, such as India Stack, in the execution of digital transformation projects. It is expected that the MoUs will result in more employment opportunities in the information technology sector.
India Stack is a collection of indigenously developed APIs and digital public assets that strive to enable the widespread utilisation of digital identity, data, and payments as fundamental economic elements. India Stack includes apps like Unified Payments Interface (India’s instant payments system), Aadhaar (the government’s digital identity card), and DigiLocker (a secure document access platform on a public cloud).
Both government-to-government (G2G) and business-to-business (B2B) cooperation in the realm of DPI will be strengthened through the MoUs. The endeavours outlined in the agreements will be funded using the regular operating allocations of their respective administrations. The MoUs shall remain in force for three years.
The MoUs were signed between the Indian Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) and the Ministry of Information and Communications of the Republic of Sierra Leone, the Ministry of Information, Communications Technologies, Utilities and Energy of the Antigua & Barbuda, and the Armenian Ministry of High-Tech Industry.
MeitY is actively working with multiple countries and international organisations to promote both bilateral and multilateral cooperation in the field of ICT. Over time, MeitY has established MoUs, memoranda of cooperation (MoCs), and agreements with counterpart organisations and agencies from various countries. These arrangements serve as vehicles for fostering cooperation and facilitating the exchange of information within the ICT domain.
The MoUs were originally put forth at a meeting of the G20 Digital Economy Working Group (DEWG). The event served as a global platform for discussions on both foundational and sector-specific DPIs. It featured experience zones that highlighted the various DPIs that have been successfully implemented, including digital identities, fast payments, open networks for digital commerce, language translation technology, online learning solutions, and telemedical consultations.
The agreements align with the several initiatives undertaken by the government, including Digital India, Atmanirbhar Bharat (Self-Reliant India), and Make in India, among others, aimed at advancing the nation towards a digitally empowered society and a knowledge-based economy. Given the evolving landscape, there is a need to explore business opportunities, exchange best practices, and attract investments within the digital sector.
According to the government, over the last few years, India has showcased its leadership in the deployment of Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI) and has effectively delivered public services, even amidst the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Consequently, many countries have expressed an interest in learning from India’s experiences.
India Stack Solutions are Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI) created and implemented by India on a national scale. This infrastructure facilitates access to and the delivery of public services. It aims to universalise connectivity, foster digital inclusion, and ensure effortless access to public services.
These solutions are built on open technologies, are interoperable and are designed to encourage active involvement from both industry and community stakeholders, fostering innovation. However, each country has unique needs and challenges in building DPI, although the basic functionality is similar, allowing for global cooperation.