The pandemic has brought hundreds of thousands of businesses to the brink. Even more challenging, the economic impact of COVID-19 over the past 18 months has disproportionally affected those who could bear it the least. Digital technologies have helped some avoid the worst, and even allowed many to thrive.
However, plenty of challenges remain. We urgently need to recover jobs and create new ones that are future-proof. That’s why we need to close the digital skills gap. In parallel, we must discover and support ideas that will kickstart the economy – and the best places to find those are start-ups and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
Asia has been living with the impact of COVID-19 the longest, and parts of the region have been first to climb out of the slump. If we combine our region’s deep digital ecosystems and longstanding culture of innovation with the entrepreneurialism of our start-ups and SMEs, we will be able to lead the world in the post-pandemic economic recovery.