KUALA LUMPUR: When it comes to digitisation, there is much to be done by the government, says executive director of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) secretariat Tan Sri Rebecca Fatima Sta Maria.

She said the government should focus on the ecosystem as well as the people, as digitisation is not only about system replacements but is more about a new way of working which makes the process extremely difficult, as it requires leaders and the people to step out of their comfort zone.

“This is easier said than done. The government always say things like ‘we need to go online, we need to have more small and medium enterprises engaged in e-commerce’, but what are we doing about the ecosystem to facilitate these folks getting online?

“For example, if I am doing business in a rural area, with no broadband access, no proper roads and no proper logistics system, how am I going to move my products from my home to the clients?” she said during a panel discussion on social economics at the Future of Works 2019 Conference, here, recently.

Rebecca said the right ecosystem includes providing training, skills, necessary infrastructure, access to finance as well as having the laws and regulations to build trust in the system.

“You have to make sure the physical infrastructure is in place, and while there are regulations which facilitate the whole process, you do not want to over regulate.

“But at the same time, you want to ensure that the customers are protected,” she said.

Rebecca said the government should work closely with the private sector and the civil society, and cited the Asean digital innovation framework as a good example of a comprehensive plan on digitisation. — Bernama