Public-private solutions for inclusive digital economy across Asia Pacific exchanged at UNDP event

August 12, 2022
Event speakers and poster of event
UNDP Seoul Policy Centre
View the recording of this event: English, Korean


8 August 2022, Seoul – United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), in partnership with UNESCAP, WFUNA, Citi Foundation, Asia Foundation and Impact Collective, hosted a regional dialogue on “Building Inclusive Digital Economies through Innovation and Public-Private Partnerships.” The online event brought together public and private sector representatives from Korea and across the Asia-Pacific region to collectively discuss existing policies and initiatives aiming to leverage digital innovation to support traditionally marginalized groups such as MSMEs, women and youth entrepreneurs.

The first segment explored examples of digital inclusion policies and initiatives implemented in different country contexts including the Republic of Korea and Bangladesh. Mr. Seong-Jun Min, Team Lead of Digital Inclusion Planning Team, Department of Digital Inclusion, National Information Society Agency, Republic of Korea, provided an overview of the Republic of Korea’s digital inclusion policy, and highlighted some examples of key initiatives to promote digital economic inclusion.

Mr. Tohurul Hasan, Digital Financial Service Specialist, ICT Division, Ministry of ICT, Bangladesh, introduced the a2i (‘Aspire to Innovate’) programme implemented by the government of Bangladesh and UNDP to promote financial inclusion of marginalized populations including women by leveraging digital technologies. Mr. Jonathan Wong, Chief of Technology & Innovation, UNESCAP, provided an overview of UNESCAP’s strategies on building inclusive digital economies, along with policy examples from the Northeast Asian region.

The ensuing session showcased innovative solutions to build inclusive digital economies, with a focus on the role of the private sector. Mr. Peter J. Morgan, Senior Consulting Economist and Advisor to the Dean, The Asian Development Bank Institute, explained how the digital Yuan, a digital currency being developed by the People's Bank of China, could contribute to financial inclusion and financial stability in the People's Republic of China. 

Ms. Eunielle Yi, Partner, Impact Collective by TheVentures (venture capital), Republic of Korea, shared the experience and insights of a venture capital that promotes the growth of social startups and ventures, by leveraging innovative investment models and technology for impact. Mr. Nofi Bayu Darmawan, Founder & CEO, Komerce (e-commerce start-up), Indonesia, provided an example of how a social startup can contribute to the inclusion of rural youth in the digital economy by connecting them with MSMEs in the e-commerce sector in Indonesia through skills training. 

The Policy Dialogue constitutes one of the signature events of the Korean chapter of Youth Co:Lab programme, an Asia-Pacific initiative co-created by UNDP and Citi Foundation to empower and invest in youth as an accelerator of SDG implementation through leadership, social innovation and entrepreneurship. As the lead of Youth Co:Lab Korea, the UNDP Seoul Policy Centre facilitates this Policy Dialogue in coordination with its Youth Co:Lab partners, along with other partners across the public and private sectors. The event also constitutes an integral component of the 2022-2023 Impact Collective acceleration programme.

About UNDP: As the United Nations lead agency on international development, UNDP works in 170 countries and territories to eradicate poverty and reduce inequality. We help countries to develop policies, leadership skills, partnering abilities, institutional capabilities, and to build resilience to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Our work is concentrated in three focus areas; sustainable development, democratic governance and peace building, and climate and disaster resilience.