Global Trade Series: Asia’s Digital Economy

This post is by Marcus Lu from Visual Capitalist

The following content is sponsored by Hinrich Foundation
Hinrich Foundation

Global Trade Series: Asia’s Digital Economy

Over the past several decades, Asia has enjoyed robust economic growth. 

Historically speaking, most of this growth was concentrated in China, and was due to a rapid expansion of manufacturing capability. Today, economic growth is being increasingly driven by the digital economy, and it’s spreading to many more countries in the region. 

In this infographic from the Hinrich Foundation, we take a closer look at how trade and digitalization is shaping Asia’s future. 

A Historic E-Commerce Boom

It’s well documented that the COVID-19 pandemic was a catalyst for greater e-commerce adoption. In the U.S. for example, e-commerce’s share of total retail sales grew from 11% in 2019 to 15.3% in 2021. 

This trend is even more pronounced in Southeast Asia, where the number of online shoppers has increased by 70 million since the beginning of the pandemic. For context, that’s roughly equal to the entire population of the UK. 

Furthermore, if we look at the top five countries by e-commerce sales growth in 2022, three are located in Southeast Asia. Widening our scope to Asia in general, this climbs to four out of five.

CountryRegionAnnual sales growth (%)
PhilippinesSoutheast Asia25.9%
IndiaSouth Asia25.5%
IndonesiaSoutheast Asia23.0%
BrazilLatin America22.2%
VietnamSoutheast Asia19.0%
Global average--9.2%

Underpinning this (Read more...)