Digital Asia Accelerator (DAA)

Program Overview

This program will build and strengthen a network of Business Chamber organizations in the Indo-Pacific region to support and accelerate the digital economy.

Business Chamber organizations in Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Mongolia, Myanmar, and Thailand will connect to build relationships and a network of private-sector stakeholders, and work to identify and advocate for digital policies that support the growing needs of the private sector in those countries.

Business Chambers, subject matter experts, policy actors, government officials and civil society organizations will exchange ideas and perspectives through a series of thought- provoking dialogues.

DAI’s USAID-funded Digital Asia Accelerator (DAA) supports this program in partnership with MangoTango Asia, a regional management consulting and strategic communications firm. The DAA is part of USAID’s Regional Development Mission for Asia (RDMA) and works to increase the safe and appropriate use of digital technology for economic development in the Indo-Pacific Region.

Program Objectives

The overall objective is to strengthen the digital economies in the Indo-Pacific region, by empowering the private sector to advocate for:

  • improving policies for digital trade;
  • advancing cybersecurity knowledge and practices;
  • ensuring the operational efficiency of businesses within the wide regional digital and e-commerce ecosystem; and
  • identifying and advancing digital policies that promote secure, open, and inclusive digital economies in the participating countries.

Specific program goals include:

  • Develop a network of private-sector, public-sector and government stakeholders to identify and advocate for digital trade policies that support a connected, fair, resilient, and transparent ecosystem across in the target countries and ultimately the broader Indo-Pacific region
  • Support stakeholders in advocating for effective digital policy to promote trade – by increasing knowledge and understanding, learning from each other’s experiences, and being better prepared to advocate successfully in each country
  • Build a robust private-sector dialogue within and between the target countries, leading toward specific learnings and recommendations to improve the ability of businesses to compete and succeed in the digital economy in the world’s fastest-growing region

Topics will include Digital Policy, Cybersecurity and Digital Safety, eCommerce Trade in Goods and Services, Digital Marketing, and Policy Advocacy dialogue with government officials and other Policy Actors and Institutions, and other topics as identified by the participants.

Participating Business Chambers include the American Chamber of Commerce in Cambodia, the American Chamber of Commerce in Indonesia, the American-Lao Business Association in Laos, the American Chamber of Commerce in Mongolia, the American Chamber of Commerce in Myanmar, and the British Chamber of Commerce in Thailand.

Program Highlights

This program started in January 2023, and will continue for 10 months, ending in October 2023.

There are 2 in-person networking events to bring together participants from all 6 countries. Each event will include opportunities to network with professionals involved in digital issues from each country, representatives from international companies and organizations, and subject matter experts.

In the months between the events, the program will include presentations and trainings from subject matter experts based on the issues surfaced during the program initiation phase, through engagement with the local Chambers and identification of their needs in Digital Policy Advocacy.

The program includes funding to cover staff costs for program management for the Business Chambers. Staff will facilitate program activities, including communications, meetings and events, social outreach, and reporting.

Activities conducted by each business chamber in their country will include:

Planning and outreach

  • Communications to members and others interested in digital policy issues and this program
  • Identify participants to engage with the program, and develop a committee to discuss digital policy issues

Digital policy engagement

  • Country digital policy needs assessment and discussions
  • Identify and prioritize issues
  • Organize dialogue sessions, including meetings between government officials and private sector representatives

Want to see what you missed at the Digital Economy Forum in March at Phnom Penh? Click to see the news here

As an extension of the program, the program in 2024 includes the original six participating business chambers from 2023* with a plan to expand that network to likeminded partners in business, civil society, academdia and the public sector. Between February and June of 2024 a series of online and in person public presentations and consultations are scheduled, with hybrid online/offline events to take place in Bangkok.

Hybrid Events

Virtual Workshop Series

  • Workshop 1: Digital Policy Pathways – May 16th, 2024
  • Workshop 2: Digital Policy Pathways – May 30th, 2024