'Digital transformation is under way in the Pacific and presents both opportunities and challenges for the region. Improvements in digital connectivity across the region are converging with growing opportunities for e-commerce, digital payments and digital trade.
For some businesses, electronic commerce is opening access to new domestic, regional and international markets. This is especially important for the Blue Pacific Continent to overcome the ‘tyranny of distance’ inherent in being isolated from global trade networks.
The COVID-19 pandemic magnified the potential of digital technologies to provide solutions to socioeconomic challenges with new ways of working and communicating emerging across the region.
In some countries, the pandemic was a catalyst that sped up long- planned digital initiatives. New mobile money and electronic payment systems accelerated financial inclusion across the region and businesses began turning to online platforms to market and sell their products.
At the same time, we are reminded of the economic and social divides that may be exacerbated by increased digitalization, entrenching both leaders and followers and generating uneven social and economic progress. The digital economy should reduce, not widen, existing income and wealth disparities. The current wave of technological change is unprecedented in terms of speed, scope and scale, and presents the Pacific with a unique opportunity to deliver inclusive digital development that leaves no one behind.'
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