This vendor-written piece has been edited by Executive Networks Media to eliminate product promotion, but readers should note it will likely favour the submitter's approach.
2016 is slated to be a watershed year for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) economies, especially with the establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) - a major milestone towards a massive regional economic integration. By 2020, the combined GDP of the ASEAN economies is expected to grow to US$4.7 trillion, with the region having the potential of becoming the world's fourth-largest economy as a bloc as early as 2030.
Nick Lim, Vice President, Asia South, CA Technologies
In addition to the already existing free trade agreement, further economic integration will open up the potential where businesses will have access to an enlarged market of over 600 million consumers.
Embracing Digital Transformation
Digital trends like Big Data, Internet of Things, Cloud Computing, social media and mobile web services are radically changing the business landscape and reshaping boundaries of enterprises. Digital technology has the potential to create the right springboard for commerce and substantial economic growth for the AEC.
Mobile as a Catalyst
Today, rapid technological migrations toward mobile broadband networks and smartphones are already happening across many markets benefiting businesses with time and cost savings, and improving the quality of their goods and services. Interestingly, in the next four years, an estimated 70 percent of people across the globe will use advanced mobile technology and 90 percent of the world will be covered by mobile broadband networks.
Across the Asia Pacific and Japan (APJ) region, device penetration is very high and smartphone subscriptions are estimated to more than double by 2020, reaching a staggering 6.1 billion. Almost 80 percent of these new subscriptions will come from Asia Pacific, the Middle East and Africa. According to a GSMA Intelligence report, Asia Pacific will add almost 1.7 billion smartphone connections by 2020, over half of the global total and emerging markets in ASEAN will be a key driver of this growth.
The Millennial Generation Impact
The millennial generation has grown accustomed to the transformative digital technologies that exist currently and they will play an important role moving forward, especially at a juncture when about 50 million people from across the ASEAN region are estimated to enter the workforce from 2010 to 2020.
According to a projection by the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB), by 2025, the regional economic integration will increase GDP by 7 percent. Many of the workforce will be millennials - the first generation of digital natives brought up in the age of technology.
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