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30 September 2022, 10:00 - 11:00 Indochina Time / Bangkok | Open meeting

SIDE EVENT: Powering the Digital Economy –Policy Approach to Foster Innovation and Regional Integration

Third Ministerial Conference on Regional Economic Cooperation and Integration in Asia and the Pacific, Bangkok and online, 28–30 September 2022




Digital technologies are fast transforming industries and businesses, changing the roles people, products, and platforms play in key economic sectors—a trend that will only amplify as the processing and analysis of ever-larger amounts of data allows more economic actors and sectors to digitalize. 

In a rapidly evolving digital landscape, policymakers and regulators face a number of complex, inter-related challenges of balancing economic interests, maximizing socio-economic benefits, and championing responsible, ethical, and sustainable practices. While they take many shapes, these challenges tend to revolve around two main issues: i) the difficulty of developing or adjusting measures as quickly as new business practices emerge; and ii) the unpredictable effects and consequences these measures can have on the wider economy. 

The first challenge is exacerbated by the fact that new or revised measures must effectively balance the obligation to keep users’ and organizations’ data protected with the aspiration to allow innovative, data-driven business models to thrive. The imposition of unnecessary regulatory burdens on digital platforms have been proven to result in negative consequences on market competition, consumer choice, investment, and innovation.1 On the other hand, regulators are expected to protect their citizens and businesses from risks and manage ethical concerns related to digital technologies and data—a policy challenge that is getting significant media attention and has seen the emergence of divergent schools of thought regionally and globally. 

The second challenge is compounded by the fact that it is difficult to prepare against risks that have yet to be fully understood; the unchecked growth of digital platforms into monopolistic giants, the liability and accountability of digital entities operating across borders and jurisdictions, and the rising concerns over unsupervised algorithmic decision-making, to name but a few. Whichever the scenario, new conditions or restrictions that are imposed without careful consideration of regulatory costs, consequences, or available alternatives, may not only run into enforcement issues but may also potentially incur high economic, social, and political costs. 

Against this background, governments around the world, from developed countries with advance digital maturity to emerging economies, have reexamined their policy and regulatory objectives, and reframed governance approach around new and emerging business models in recent years.

This session showcases the updated and emerging policy and regulatory frameworks on digital economy around the world based on the recent advisory work by ADB for the Government of Viet Nam. The event will also house a discussion on what the key considerations would be for developing economies to build a balanced frameworks that address the challenges of the digital age whilst fostering innovation. 

Register for the side event:  


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5 min 


Thomas Abell, Advisor SDCC and Chief of Digital Technology for Development, ADB  

20 min 


“Best practice and Benchmarking Study: Legal and Policy frameworks for Promotion of Electronic Transactions and the Digital Economy” 

By Grace Gown, Director, Global Government Advisory, Access Partnership  

30 min 

Panel discussion  

  • Rolando Avendano, Economist, ERCD 
  • Carmen Maria Ramirez Ortiz, Consultant, Trade and Supply Chain Finance 
  • Mary Ann Gretchen U. Aquino, Senior Legal Officer, OGC 

Moderator: Yoonee Jeong, Senior Digital Technology Specialist, ADB 

5 min 

Q&A and closing 

for more information, please contact

Trade, Investment and Innovation Division +66 2 288-1234 [email protected]
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