Converging Innovation in Southeast Asia

Representing the world’s innovation hub, Southeast Asia has set an unparalleled standard for driving economies with technological advancements. From solar bottle lights to hybrid solar microgrids, fintech, electric vehicles, and sustainable climate structures, Asian companies are revolutionising products and services using prominent technologies. Pioneering innovation parameters in Southeast Asia are leaving a legacy to influence the whole world.

Post-COVID, the tremendous growth of Southeast Asian region-based industries has been fuelled by technology-based solutions and the pathway to global funding. Singapore has outgrown fintech, biotech, smart cities, and advanced manufacturing sectors. With a highly skilled and educated workforce, Bloomberg recently ranked Singapore as the world’s most innovative country. Next, Malaysia has one of Southeast Asia’s most developed data centre markets, which is expected to reach $1.57 billion by 2027. The nation attracts quality investments, harnesses the digital revolution, and leverages technology to navigate the challenges ahead.

Adding to innovative Southeast Asia, Vietnam is one of the best-developed economies with its stable political environment, sustainable macroeconomic development, young tech-savvy workforce, favourable government support and policies, developed startup ecosystem, and tech innovation. Despite the challenges, Vietnam is sailing through the wave of Industry 4.0 with the agility to achieve heights in the global tech landscape of AI, e-commerce, cloud computing, education technology, software outsourcing, SaaS development, and others.

In the 41st edition of the ASEAN Innovation Business Platform Conference & Exhibition, the Philippines addressed driving innovation factors. Participants discussed balancing the human touch and digital innovation, driving innovation into industrialization, energy transition, and sustainability. 

For us, it’s really about balancing how you automate and still give that human touch. We recently launched the Viber ordering system, which already has this chatbot. However, sales conversion will be around 8% if it’s purely a chatbot. But when we place a human, where a call centre agent will be coming in to chat with a person behind, the conversion went up to 23%. So that’s something that people would also need to consider. As much as we want to automate many things, this human touch remains.

Armie Mondragon, Analytics & Digital Director, Max’s Group Inc.

The above quotation shows that innovation provides a sustainable solution to solve market problems rather than a measure to replace human intervention. Developed Southeast Asian nations, like Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore, and the Philippines, are actively projecting economic growth with innovative expansion, and another part of the world can align with their vision.

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