Digital Transformation (DX) is urgently required for Japan to effectively mitigate the impact of the COVID 19 pandemic on business. Japan has lagged behind in the area of digital transformation compared with some emerging Asian markets. To address this situation, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) has launched the “Asia DX Project”. The aim is to support Japanese companies who want to partner with companies in emerging Asian markets. The Project is purposed to drive change in the corporate culture of Japanese companies, encouraging them to embrace digital technologies to solve societal challenges. This new approach is set out in the Action Plan of the Growth Strategy, approved by Japan’s Cabinet Office on July 17, 2020.
Progress of DX in emerging Asian countries
Digital economies in emerging Asian markets have grown rapidly. This growth is driven by startups committed to solving societal challenges through DX such as Grab Taxi Holdings Pte. Ltd. and Gojek—the providers of ride-hailing apps and other services. Operating in lightly regulated markets with developing infrastructures, enterprising Asian companies have been able to leapfrog forward in their ability to leverage digital technologies to address societal challenges. Meanwhile, operating within Japan’s more heavily regulated environment and more complex infrastructure, many firms in Japan have struggled to establish a solid foundation for DX.
Encouraging new business partnerships between Japan and emerging Asian countries
Up until now, DX has been used within limited digital spaces in many emerging Asian markets. Going forward, integration with offline technologies in fields such as manufacturing and agriculture will be required. Resources such as offline technologies and funding are lacking in many emerging Asian countries. Through new businesses and partnerships, Japanese companies can provide their expertise and technological know-how.
JETRO DX Portal
Through the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), METI now offers a wide range of support measures to firms in Japan exploring DX partnerships in Asia. These services include online business matching, webinars, events, and support for companies holding demonstration projects between emerging countries and Japan. For companies based in Japan that intend to leverage digital technologies to partner with companies across ASEAN economies or India, METI recommends that you visit the JETRO DX portal website.