Will Robots Disrupt East Asia’s Development Model? Technological Change and the Future of Jobs in the Region
East Asia’s economic success has depended largely on its outward-oriented, labor-intensive growth model. How much will rapidly changing technologies disrupt East Asia’s traditional development model? The panel will seek to address this crucial question and help chart a way forward.
Tourism plays an important role in Pacific Island economies and is one of the region’s few economically viable sectors. Total tourism spending in Pacific Island countries for 2013 amounted to US$1.4 billion – just over US$1,000 per visitor. In 2014, a record 1.37 million overnight visitors arrived across eleven Pacific Island countries, with Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Palau, Samoa and Vanuatu making up the top five destinations. Two thirds of visitors traveling to Pacific Island countries are from Australia and New Zealand, while the United States, China, Japan and Europe represent significant growth potential. However, more arrivals does not necessarily mean more spending, and due to the ecological sensitivity of Pacific Island countries, attracting low-volume, high-yielding tourists is crucial. As the potential of tourism is realised, what actions are being taken by the public and private sectors to boost high-yield visitors? What role is sustainability playing in tourism development? And what role will niche markets like cruising, play?
East Asia Pacific is home to the world’s largest and fastest growing internet user base. Digital technologies are transforming how firms conduct business, workers perform jobs, and citizens interact with governments. Yet, there are still questions as to what the spread of these technologies means for the development trajectory of countries in the region and their abilities to address the challenges they face. Panelists from government, business and civil society in the region will discuss how East Asia and Pacific countries can take advantage of the opportunities – and offset the risks – of the digital economy.