The Asia-Pacific region is one of the fastest growing in the world, and digital transformation has been a major part of its growth story. Seven economies in the region – Australia, Bangladesh, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, and Singapore – have focused on the possibilities of technology and the opportunities that it creates for strengthening economic growth and improving that standard of living. Over the past decade, the governments of these economies have doubled down on plans for smart cities and digital economies. At the same time, businesses have integrated digital tools into their work, and people have brought technologies into every aspect of their lives.
Accessing and using digital information has become a pervasive part of our work and personal lives, and digital communication is an indistinguishable part of this. With the growth of the smartphone, digital communication tools have become ubiquitous, and few tools have achieved the widespread usage of private messaging applications. The relative convenience and low cost compared to their analog alternatives have enabled private messaging applications to attract a high volume of users.
The widespread use of private messaging applications and their prevalence in our day-to-day lives often means that the benefits it creates for individuals are more front-of-mind, for example, helping to connect distant family and friends. On the other hand, it has also been used by businesses for internal communications and, increasingly, to reach customers – which is expected to increase productivity through lowering costs and lifting revenues.
This report examines the economic contribution from the growing business use of private messaging over the past five years – between 2018 and 2022 – in seven Asia-Pacific economies. In 2022, for these seven economies:
- the increased business use of private messaging is estimated to have lifted economy-wide productivity by nearly USD17 billion;
- these productivity gains enabled higher economic activity in these economies, which is estimated to have contributed around USD44 billion to aggregate GDP; and
- the higher economic activity is estimated to have supported around 2 million jobs across all industries within these economies.
Furthermore, continued growth in business use of private messaging could potentially unlock a further USD110 billion in cumulative productivity gains by 2030, across the seven economies. However, this will require a commitment by policymakers to: (1) ensure a conducive policy environment for digital technologies; (2) drive business adoption of digital tools; and (3) invest in e-government.
Download The Economic Value of Private Messaging in Asia-Pacific:
This report has been prepared by Access Partnership for the Asia Internet Coalition and powered by WhatsApp.