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APO members have been proactively responding to the Industry 4.0 movement by applying national strategies for digital transformation. Some emphasize raising awareness of digital transformation, adopting digital technologies, and enhancing infrastructure for connectivity, while others pay more attention to narrowing the digital divide and leveraging technologies to improve well-being. They may have different priorities, but all aim to achieve comprehensive socioeconomic growth by strengthening digital literacy, inclusiveness, social welfare, and capability building, in addition to conventional focuses on sectoral economic growth and digitization of businesses.
Recognizing the different contexts of APO members but also the similar challenges they face in facilitating digital transformation, the APO Secretariat joined forces with the Directorate for Standards, Metrology and Quality (STAMEQ), Ministry of Science and Technology, Vietnam, in organizing a workshop on National Digital Transformation in Ho Chi Minh City, 6–9 December, to exchange ideas on digital transformation strategies, discuss the effectiveness of national initiatives, and observe good practices of implementing national digital transformation strategies. Fourteen participants from seven APO members attended the workshop led by four resource persons from Germany, the ROK, Singapore, and Vietnam, who discussed policies, benchmarks, and available tools and frameworks for digital transformation and necessary capability building in the Industry 4.0 era.
Participants also visited Qualtest 3, a government agency supporting Vietnamese businesses to ensure product quality; TC Electronics Solution, an electronics manufacturer; and Gotadi, a travel service provider, to observe how businesses embarked on the journey of digital upgrading and how government agencies could connect resource providers and support those endeavors. At the end of the workshop, participants developed action plans and identified the next steps to facilitate digital upgrading in their countries.