The Philippine Digital Economy with World Bank Economist Kevin Chua
“Digital Economy” refers to the use of digital platforms for business transactions. Social media, cloud computing, mobile web services, smart technology are already changing the pace and nature of businesses and entrepreneurs. These trends enable businesses to push for disruptive business models, networking and transfer of knowledge and challenge them to push for innovation, competition, and growth. In addition, the consumption of e-commerce takes 70% of the GDP in the digital economy. And the Philippines’ e-commerce consumption rate falls at 1%.
The Philippines carries great potential to be a significant force on the global digital market. Having about 76 million internet users in 2018 (the 12th largest in the world) being the leader in the IT-BPO industry, and being consistently titled The Social Media Capital of the world, the influence the country holds in the digital realm is no surprise. However, despite having this broad audience, the Philippines only contributes 20% GDP to the Global Digital Economy. Though we are greatly improving, we’re still relatively behind. Regional neighbors are already at the forefront of this global competition with its landscape progressively shifting as technology keeps updating.
According to the World Bank, in order to catch- up, the Philippines would need to triple its GDP per capita in twenty years. The government will need to actively take part to create this shift and make sure that from the lowest of the public sector to the highest of the private sector are all catered for. But before everything else, the first step would have to be the improvement of our digital infrastructure for better, faster, and more reliable internet services. Businesses doing their part would be the biggest help, as their modernization can improve our contribution to the e-commerce GDP.
Establishing a better digital economy in the Philippines can lead to the improvement of certain public services. The progression in the digital market can lead to more business opportunities, new business models, markets, and partnerships which could then lead to more possibilities of employment. And more job opportunities can lead to a better economy for the Philippines.