Southeast Asia’s digital economy has shown resilience and growth, with the region’s digital economy set to reach US$100 billion in revenue and US$218 billion in gross merchandise value (GMV) in 2023.
- Southeast Asia’s digital economy is resilient and adaptable, with revenue growing 1.7 times faster than gross merchandise value (GMV).
- Thailand is expected to be the second-largest digital economy in Southeast Asia by 2030, with a projected GMV of $100-165 billion, driven primarily by e-commerce growth.
- Digital financial services, particularly digital lending and payments, are driving the growth of the region’s digital economy.
- Efforts are needed to bridge the digital economic divide by promoting digital inclusion, including education initiatives, affordable products, and improved financial literacy.
Despite a decline in private funding, there is still capital available for investment, and digital companies need to demonstrate profitability and strong exit options to attract investors.
This year, e-Conomy SEA 2023 shows us just how robust and adaptable Southeast Asia’s digital economy remains. The digital economy in the region is on track to reach a remarkable milestone of generating USD 100 billion in revenue. This substantial growth marks an eight-fold increase in revenue for digital businesses over the past eight years.
Thailand ranks second in terms of digital economy in the region, with Indonesia taking the lead. By 2030, Indonesia’s digital economy is projected to reach $210-360 billion, a significant increase from $109 billion in 2025 and $82 billion in 2023.
The focus on profit has paid off, with sectors like e-commerce, online travel, transport, food delivery, and online media showing positive growth trajectories. Digital payments and lending have played a significant role in boosting the digital financial services sector.
However, there is a risk of a widening digital economic divide outside of metro cities, and efforts are needed to bridge this gap and promote digital inclusion. All stakeholders, including investors, businesses, governments, and NGOs, have a responsibility to help more Southeast Asians participate in the digital economy for sustainable growth opportunities.