Southeast Asia CEOs unravel the secret of the digital economy to bring benefit at home

2019-09-05
Hangzhou, September 5, 2019 – A group of CEOs from a range of Southeast Asian based firms have had the unique opportunity to take home the secret sauce of leveraging digital technology to help support their own firms as well as the wider economy. The cohort came together to attend a Tech Innovator Workshop in Hangzhou, China, under the 10x1000 Tech for Inclusion program.

The five-day workshop, run in partnership with Malaysian Digital Economy Corporation (“MDEC”), consisted of a series of training modules on topics such as fintech and entrepreneurship at Ant Financial’s headquarters in Hangzhou. The program also included site tours to Freshippo, Alibaba’s grocery chain, which leverages new retail technologies to converge online and offline shopping, as well as Alibaba’s Xixi Campus.

Sabrina Peng, Vice President of Ant Financial, said, “In China, inclusive financial technologies have unlocked many growth opportunities for consumers and small businesses. We are very pleased to see a growing number of entrepreneurs from Southeast Asia demonstrate real interest in learning how to be more successful in the application of digital technology to better serve consumers and empower their growing businesses. For this workshop we have had the pleasure of partnering with MDEC who share our vision and see the importance of knowledge and experience sharing to boost economies in Southeast Asia. We intend to host more of these programs to play a part in building the region’s digital ecosystem and providing opportunity to all of those business leaders who want to take it.”

The 10x1000 Tech for Inclusion program was launched in October 2018 by the International Financial Corporation (“IFC”), a member of the World Bank Group, and Ant Financial Services Group (“Ant Financial”), the world’s leading tech company and the operator of Alipay. The comprehensive program embraces interactivity and the exchange of ideas as it aims to provide training to 10,000 tech experts based in emerging markets from both public and private sectors over a 10 year period.

“MDEC is the agency responsible for leading Malaysia’s digital economy development and one of our key pillars is helping Malaysian tech companies grow into global players,” said Dato’ Ng Wan Peng, Chief Operating Officer of MDEC, “We are very happy to partner with companies that are promoting financial inclusion, and which gives entrepreneurs a platform to expand both in Malaysia and the wider region. This also gives an opportunity for participants to exchange new ideas and inspirations with leading experts in the field as well as counterparts from other Southeast Asia countries, to empower them and enhance connectivity.”

She added, “I hope the learning and sharing from this program will enable these entrepreneurs to become drivers of change when they return home and help to accelerate the growth of Malaysia’s digital economy and ecosystem.”