Coronavirus boosts use of e-doctor apps in Indonesia

E-doctor apps (also known as telemedicine) have benefited from structural problems in Indonesia’s healthcare sector and the country’s booming digital economy over the last decade. The coronavirus crisis turns out to be a further boost for the sector, possibly fueling the creation of a unique digitally native medical system. Start-up Culture Many telemedicine start-ups have emerged in Indonesia over the last years. Alodokter, Halodoc and GrabHealth are the most prominent and offer easily accessible digital consultations. Indonesians can even have medicines prescribed and delivered. It is not weird that telemedicine services…

Read More

COVID-19 crisis showing shortfalls China’s Belt and Road

Investments flowing out of China’s $1.1. trillion USD ‘Belt and Road Initiative’ (BRI) have reached emerging markets all over the world. Especially Southeast Asia has become an important destination for BRI-related investments. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has delayed many BRI projects while showing serious shortfalls. The severe crisis, however, is not likely to undermine the infrastructure scheme nor China’s ambitions in Southeast Asia. Chinese materials and workers The COVID-19 crisis is having a deep economic impact, not the least on China’s BRI-partners. China has so far signed partnerships with 137…

Read More

Digital First: ASEAN Countries Still Face Core Challenges

Children in indonesia studying with laptops

WASHINGTON DC– Homegrown Ride-Hailing APPS, intelligent traffic systems, advanced construction techniques, automated energy-consumption management all propel the innovation wave washing over the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Indonesia’s vibrant digital ecosystem, for example, boasts more than 1,700 start-ups—among the world’s largest clusters of new firms. GO-JEK, to name one, evolved from a ride-hailing app to a platform for mobile payments and other digital services. In Singapore, Sea, the most valuable start-up in the region—worth several billion dollars—began as an online gaming company and branched out into mobile money and…

Read More

Opinion: will local brands dominate emerging markets?

local brand brazil fizzy drink

The global market of consumer packaged goods is US$ 1.2 trillion and global brands are facing strong competition from local brands in emerging markets. And what’s the global companies’ strategy to remain in relevant in emerging markets? They act fast to acquire these established and already much profitable local brands. In India, for example, the government policy from the invasion of foreign brands made local brand Thumbs Up cola the country’s market leader. In the early 90’s, when the Indian government opened the market to multinationals, Coca-Cola was more than quick…

Read More

How China and Brazil are investing in Africa

After the economic slow-down, inflation and recession – and perhaps, some most pessimistic might say, the eminent down-fall of BRICS, all eyes turn to Africa as the new best thing regarding investments. Brazil and China have already been investing heavily in Africa, but how and where these two countries are investing in the African continent are strikingly different. China has been investing in infrastructural development such as, building highways in Tanzania, financing electricity projects in Sub-Saharan Africa and constructing whole towns in Angola. Most recently, Ethiopia made the headlines as the first African Sub-Saharan…

Read More

SE Asia: eCommerce boom drives up mobile payment options

A recent Google-Temasek e-Conomy SEA 2018 report highlights the explosive growth happening in e-commerce in Southeast Asia. SE Asia has long been seen as a challenging market for international brands to enter. Recent investments in infrastructure, improved regulatory conditions alongside rapid growth in internet and smartphone penetration open up the markets for foreign brands. With the growing acceptance of e-commerce, foreign brands no longer need to establish a local presence to target the Southeast Asian consumer. According to the e-Conomy SEA 2018 report, the SE Asia internet economy reached an…

Read More

The Chinese Century: Is China-Brazil relationship a proxy of a new global governance?

Nature hates the vacuum, so do superpowers. Therefore, the geopolitical space allowed by the United States is seemingly being filled by China [1]. For instance, the Asian giant became Brazil’s most important trade partner in 2009 and Chinese investment in Brazil began around 2010 [2] as part of a state-led directive to increase China’s food and energy security through overseas acquisitions. Brazil plays an important role locally given the country´s economic weight and regional influence; therefore, a partnership with China changes the regional geopolitical landscape. The increase of interest in…

Read More