“One Indonesia Data” Underway – OpenGov Asia

2022-07-17 05:26:46 By : Mr. Mao Jagger

The Indonesian government is implementing a data-driven policy and hastening the digitisation of public services by integrating super apps for public services to create One Indonesia Data, according to Minister of Communication and Information Johnny G. Plate.

If we talk about public services, we must realise that there are so many services that are partially accessed by the public. Therefore, the Government is preparing public services super apps, an integrated public service application in one application.

– Johnny G. Plate, Minister of Communication and Information

Minister Johnny added that the super applications are therefore required to enable inter-agency communication so that they can be incorporated into the same system. Thus, these “super apps” are designed to avoid the repetition of applications with identical features from different government agencies. As a result, to develop dependable and integrated super applications, cooperation from every government sector is mandatory.

He further emphasised the significance of creating a single, comprehensive application for Indonesia to reorganise the hundreds of dispersed applications. He intended to restructure to create one ideal application for Indonesia. Only eight applications, at most, are integrated. This is being prepared in the roadmap for the Ministry of Communications and Informatics.

The Ministry would terminate around 24,400 applications and will then be gradually added to super apps. Hence, employing super apps will be more effective and it will be remarkable for the entire country since the efficiency will be higher than the fiscal intervention and the savings are in the tens of trillions.

On the other side, the nation is still using 2,700 data centres to implement electronic government. However, only 3% of Indonesia’s data is cloud-based; the remaining 93% are separate, which is one of the challenges facing Indonesian data producers.

Meanwhile, according to Minister Johnny, the government plans to construct four data centres that are based on the cloud to realise efficiency in the management of data centres. The first data centre will be built near the current state capital in Jabodetabek, while the government is simultaneously designing the building of a second data centre in Nongsa, Batam, Riau Islands, with approximately the same redundant capacity.

This is being done to ensure that there is a mutual backup if the data centre is used in the future but with the new State Capital, the third government data centre will be built later. In addition, the construction of the fourth data centre will take place in Labuan Bajo, which is in East Nusa Tenggara. Minister Johnny said that the lack of undersea volcanic activity that has the potential to disrupt data centre services was the driving factor for the most recent location selection.

Minister Johnny indicated three primary factors to be considered in relation to the development of the data centre. To begin, there is the possibility that sufficient power supply capacity or electricity in big numbers will become available. The availability of a sufficient fibre optic cable network comes in second, followed by the provision of a redundant service.

He also mentioned the 2022 Indonesian Digital Financial Economy Festival which will showcase the latest innovations in product and service delivery, as well as a synergy of digital economic and financial policy. This synergy is made stronger by a shared commitment, which was made possible by the creation of the National Synergy Movement for Digital Economy and Finance.

This event is related to the 3rd Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting (FMCBG) and G20 Finance Track: Finance and Central Bank Deputies (FCBD), which will take place from 11-15 July 2022. It will include people from different fields, such as academia and international organisations.

The proportion of online administrative services hit 45.78% as of June, growing 1.6 times from the same period last year. The figure was among the highlights listed in a report by the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) released earlier this week.

The revenue of the IT industry in June was estimated at US$12.2 billion, up 30% year-on-year, with hardware and electronics export turnover hitting some US$9.5 million, increasing by 28% over the same period in 2021. Last month, government departments and industry players completed major projects in the post, telecommunications, and IT sectors. Among them were the organisation of a symposium on The Future of the Internet and an international seminar and exhibition: Vietnam Security Summit 2022.

Also in the month, MIC launched the make-in-Vietnam digital products award 2022 to encourage, promote, and find outstanding Vietnamese technology products. Directing the sector’s operations in the time to come, the Minister of Information and Communications, Nguyen Manh Hung, underscored the opening of digital museums, shutting off 2G networks, and running frequency auctions in the last six months of the year. He also requested completing the content of several laws including ones regarding electronic transactions, the digital technology industry, and telecommunications, among others.

Meanwhile, in June, several provinces across the country launched digital-centric initiatives and set digital transformation goals for the future. For example, Ha Long, a city in Quang Ninh province, announced its plans to have a 20%-25% average annual growth rate in the number and value of cashless payments by 2025. Officials held a teleconference discussing the implementation of a project for non-cash payment development for 2022-2025 across the city’s 33 communes and wards.

Ha Long plans to secure cashless payments, improve the banking system’s operational efficiency and state authorities’ supervision and management effectiveness, and use emerging technologies to develop a robust payment infrastructure system. By 2025, it expects that at least 90% of the residents aged 15 and above will have cashless transaction accounts. Up to 99% of contributions to the State budget and 100% of tuition fees at local schools and educational establishments are expected to be paid through digital methods.

Further, the Thanh Hoa provincial Farmers’ Union and Post Office signed a cooperative agreement to help farmers digitise the production and sale of farm produce and goods for the 2021-2025 period. So far, over 70% of the Farmers’ Union direction and guidance documents at the provincial and district levels are available online. Many agricultural products of the Union’s members have been introduced on two state-owned e-commerce platforms, namely, Postmart and Vo So.

Over the next two years, the federation plans to create content in the form of short video clips and news broadcasts, using artificial intelligence (AI) and infographic technology for social media sites. It will also release monthly news bulletins and clips outlining procedures to establish grassroots trade unions and new labour policies, as well as healthcare for workers. By 2025, the federation aims to complete and operationalise information processing software for all its units and process at least 80% of work papers at the provincial level and 70% of work papers at the district level online.

Residents in rural Queensland will soon be able to use a new platform, that will help them access better, more timely information and data about their water use and entitlements. As the project quickly moves toward completion, a delivery partner has been appointed for the $22.7 million a year Water Information Queensland (WaterIQ) program.

The Queensland Water Minister stated that the cloud-based tools will include a customer portal and mobile app. The Minister stated that water is the lifeblood in rural and regional Queensland and it is therefore important that important information about it is made as accessible as possible. Nowadays, daily life has been modernised to be at the click of a button, so this is just in line with the direction the industry is going, the Minister added.

Better information about Queensland’s water use will help stimulate economic development in regional communities, enabling businesses to thrive, diversify, expand and ensure our precious water resources are managed sustainably, protecting our unique environment.

A consortium of two firms is working closely with the department to deliver on the significant investment being made in the WaterIQ project.

The Minister noted that the Queensland water department is investing in technology and digital solutions to ensure customers and the community have better access to accurate and timely water information and services.

He said that these projects will harness existing data from a range of sources and make it easier for water users to provide information about their water usage. The work also includes the development of platforms that allow water users and regulators to access timely water data, water services and general water-related information.

Water users in rural Queensland will be able to input water meter readings via an app, streamlining the current process creating greater efficiencies. Entitlement holders will also be able to readily access their water entitlement information, and potentially, related water market information.

An internal, departmental staff tool is also being developed to support the customer facing tools and progressively replace out-dated processes, reduce red tape and shift compliance data and activities to more efficient, online processes for water users across Queensland.

WaterIQ is part of Rural Water Futures, a program which is driving more transparent and sustainable water resource management in Queensland, through the delivery of better systems, policies and processes. The app and customer web portal will begin user trials later this year.

The Commonwealth Minister for the Environment and Water noted that the partner announcement and WaterIQ products are key for users who expect information to be available at their fingertips, through cloud-based tools today.

“Bringing this data together and creating opportunities for water users and government staff to get timely information that helps them on a daily basis is what government should be doing – making information transparently available and helping all stakeholders make informed decisions,” she said.

One firm in the consortium is an Australian company with Brisbane-based staff specialising in helping customers drive better outcomes with technology by an American multinational technology corporation. The other partnering firm is a global leader in the water industry. Operating in Australia since 2011, the firm has delivered transformative solutions to many large rural water businesses and government agencies across Australia.

Data and Artificial Intelligence (AI) have the potential to have a huge transformative impact on the public sector, given governments’ access to massive amounts of data and their operations affect the citizens.

A progressive, safe, secure, comfortable and happy country is what the Philippine public sector seeks to achieve through innovation and ongoing ICT growth. By better harnessing the power of data through a robust data and AI strategy, the government can accomplish its goals and mandates.

It is globally acknowledged that the huge amounts of digital data created by citizens’ actions are a very valuable resource. However, this constantly growing data resource is not being used to its full potential currently. Agencies have a hard time getting the most out of their data because their systems are old and their analytics skills are limited. They have a lot of data but not much insight.

Data will become an even more valuable commodity as the Philippines accelerates its digital transformation efforts to have a “One Digitised Government.”

Learnings from global best practices for advanced data analytics and AI in the Philippines was the focus of the OpenGovLive! Virtual Breakfast Insight on 14 July 2022 for senior digital executives from the Philippine public sector.

Developing a Data-Driven Public Sector: The Road Ahead

To kickstart the session, Mohit Sagar, CEO and Editor-in-Chief, OpenGov Asia, delivered the opening address. He believes that many people struggle with the associated, but unnecessary, challenges of big data, such as high costs, poor data quality and inconsistent data sources and formats, without reaping any of the enticing benefits.

“Public sector agencies require a multifaceted approach, including the ability to quickly integrate new data, make accurate, multilevel forecasts and provide data-driven insights for policymakers,” claims Mohit.

Agencies are expected to make decisions based on what is best for individuals, families and communities. Following this imperative, leaders in the public sector have worked tirelessly to improve outcomes for those they serve during the COVID-19 pandemic.

There are many lessons to be drawn from COVID-19, he says, but one of the most important is the significance of being able to use data to prepare for potential scenarios and inform decision-making.

Analytics assists these leaders in making difficult decisions by allowing them to act on evidence – that is, data. They can be confident that their decisions will result in the best possible outcomes thanks to analytical insights.

As governments focus their efforts to mitigate the negative economic impacts of the pandemic, the expectation of better services, sound fiscal policy, execution and transparency will only grow. It is now more important than ever for the public sector to use a data and advanced analytics infrastructure to fully understand current challenges related to revenue impacts, citizen-centric services, economic development, and financial transparency.

Agencies should take advantage of the opportunity afforded by the pandemic to address long-standing data issues. Expanded data infrastructure will not only provide a foundation for sound decisions and actions but will also create an organisation capable of responding quickly to the ongoing effects of COVID-19, as well as any future emergencies.

Moreover, improving data sharing between government agencies will significantly improve their ability to generate data-driven insights.

At the end of the day, Mohit concludes, the aim is to better serve citizens by deploying the best technology and tools available. To make these transitions and transformations easier, he advises delegates to work with experts.

Analytics and AI​ Solutions​ in Government and Public Sector​

“Public Sector agencies are complex ecosystems of decisions that require increasing levels of automation,” says Amir Sohrabi, Regional Vice President, Emerging EMEA & Asia.

The amount of data in the public sector is exponentially increasing. Simultaneously, the capacity of agencies should increase to cope with the expansion. Ultimately, citizens will never accept the justification that their public safety agency simply had too much information to deal with.

Irrespective of their mandates, government organisations are subject to investigations and monitoring. Of course, finding fraud, waste, or abuse pays off financially for portfolios with substantial expenditures including health, tax, and social benefit programmes. In other areas, the return on investment for improved audits, inceptions, and investigations might be more difficult to assess.

Amir has shared how agencies like to engage​ in “continual evolution of capability.”​ These are to re-use and adapt rather than re-invent; fast problem-solving implementations; continuous innovation; partnerships in the delivery of outcomes; cost-effectiveness; short, sharp milestones with clear and measurable results; and easy to use, easy to learn.

With the fast-paced rollout, each implementation requires a relatively simple approach for the user experience. Moreover, data and analytics are crucial to the company’s digital development. Additionally, digital transformation helps businesses maximise their transactions and operations; without digital transformation, a business can’t meet its clients’ needs.

“Governments still face mission-critical decisions. What began as operations research in government 70 years ago is today called analytics. Now, AI helps make smarter decisions by learning and automating human tasks,” Amir explains.

He shared an example from Belgium where VAT Carousels Fraud cost the Belgian government one billion euros. “This fraud typology is a high-velocity fraud. Carousel frauds are like floods. It is futile to believe that after the storm we can put back water in the riverbed with buckets. What is required is to develop dykes to avoid overflows,” Amir believes.

The Tax Department was awash in VAT Carousels Fraud data. The solution was to detect organisations likely involved in VAT carousels. The SAS Hybrid method was able to detect questionable behaviour or VAT returns early. It integrates network analysis, business rules, predictive modelling and anomaly detection. These approaches allow for network discovery and monitoring. Accurate models have an 80% true positive rate, and SAS Hybrid proved to be the appropriate tax auditor. Currently, the VAT carousel scam is down by 98%.

Analytics was important to attaining this result; models are reliable with 80% true positive rates and give ultra-early detection from the first VAT declaration. VAT Carousels are regulated; thus, the system identifies dubious foreign corporations for the international partnership.

Amir also cited the Cleveland Clinic which is using analytics to monitor, treat and stop the spread of COVID-19, maximising the use of medical resources to save lives during a global epidemic.

In times of crisis, it is crucial to optimise medical resources. To help hospitals anticipate patient traffic, bed capacity, ventilator availability and other factors in response to the coronavirus pandemic, Cleveland Clinic and SAS have developed cutting-edge models.

The models, which are openly accessible via GitHub, offer hospitals and health departments rapid, accurate information to optimise healthcare services for COVID-19 and other patients and to forecast effects on supply chain, finance and other crucial sectors.

Even in the Philippines, these models can aid hospitals, healthcare facilities, state departments of health and governmental organisations in predicting the effects of COVID-19 and preparing for the future.

Data is now available everywhere, waiting to be analysed. It is the result of the actions and reactions of the devices and machines that were used. This constant flow of data places a new level of intelligence within our grasp. But it also raises the bar for people to harness it and create value with and from data.

“Analytics can achieve the specific business goals,” concludes Amir. “It can transform a world of data into a world of intelligence!”

By automating most of the time-consuming and repetitive tasks, data analytics not only improves problem-solving abilities but also makes them a whole lot faster and more effective.

The goal of SAS is to make it easier for more people to use powerful analytics every day, to shorten the time it takes to go from data to insight and encourage people to make bold discoveries that move the world forward. In this scenario, analytics is used to break down barriers, encourage ambition and get results.

“Using AI to discover fraud has facilitated organisations to expand their internal security and make their operations easier. Due to its increased efficiency, Artificial Intelligence has become an important tool for stopping financial crimes,” says Gerard McDonnell, Regional Solution Director – Fraud & Security Intelligence, SAS.

The foundation of the government solutions they offer to agencies is data, discovery and deployment. These are the key areas where SAS concentrates and adds value to government finance, health care​, public safety and criminal justice, social services, ​education, infrastructure and transportation, defence and national security, as well as smart cities.

​To increase citizen involvement, increase government efficiencies and fulfil public safety commitments – all these areas of government use analytics and even real-time data streams from sensors, video feeds, and social media.

AI can be employed to examine a huge volume of transactions to identify fraud trends, which can then be applied to real-time fraud detection.

When fraud is suspected, AI models can be used to rate the likelihood of fraud, reject transactions outright, or flag them for more investigation. This enables investigators to concentrate their efforts on the most promising cases.

For the transaction that has been detected, the AI model can additionally provide cause codes. These reason codes help to expedite the investigation by directing the investigator as to where to look for flaws. When investigators assess and approve dubious transactions, AI may learn from them as well, adding to its knowledge and avoiding trends that aren’t indicative of fraud.

Identifying criminal networks and fraud quickly and efficiently is critical. Thus, data analytics solutions that help them identify tax evasion and fraud promptly are a must.

​Data Science Practices That Have Helped Us and May Resonate

Governments may utilise AI to create better policies, make better decisions, enhance citizen participation and communication, and boost the effectiveness and efficiency of public services. While AI has huge potential benefits, realising them will not be simple.

“People who lack an aptitude for data are a hindrance to the advancement of data science,” says Joy Bonaguro, Chief Data Officer, State of California, USA.

Government use of AI trails that of the private sector; the field is complex and has a steep learning curve; and the purpose of, and context within, the government are unique and present several challenges.

Joy emphasises that an organisation should identify its objective and how it wants to improve and then analyse the facts to determine whether to implement a new plan. Thereafter, the organisation must establish an action plan to put its decision into effect.

She added that this step aims to establish clearly defined objectives for what must be done, by when, by whom, why and what the expected consequence(s) will be.

To elaborate, Joy uses the truffle pig problem – the single most significant obstacle to adoption is identifying strong data science initiatives. Thus, strategies are required to comprehend the issues of change management.

An individual will identify themselves with a truffle pig problem if they keep on asking the following:

Further, data science is challenging for a variety of reasons and teams are under constant pressure to deliver insights fast despite the inherent complexity of the discipline.

Data analytics has existed for a while in a variety of forms, but organisations are discovering more complex and timely ways to use data analytics to improve their operations. Businesses can use data analytics to find new opportunities, save money and make decisions more quickly and efficiently.

The potential applications of data analytics are as varied as the companies that employ them. They can range from the straightforward creation of the key performance indicators from the underlying data to the statistical analysis of scientific findings to evaluate hypotheses. Businesses may also use data analytics to forecast market trends or sway customer behaviour.

Moreover, data analytics for audit is the science and art of finding and analysing trends, deviations and inconsistencies in data that underlies or is connected to the audit’s subject matter, as well as extracting other important information for the audit’s planning and execution.

The primary motivation for employing data analytics for auditors is to raise the calibre of audits. It enables auditors to more efficiently audit the massive volumes of data stored and processed in larger companies’ IT systems. Data from clients can be extracted, modified, and analysed by auditors.

They can better grasp the client’s information and recognise the hazards by doing this. Data analytics tools can transform all the data into pre-structured forms or presentations that are clear to auditors and clients, and even generate audit programmes tailored to client-specific risks or provide data directly into computerised audit procedures, which enables the auditor to reach the result more quickly.

After the educational discussion, delegates participated in poll-based discussions. This session is intended to provide live audience engagement, stimulate participation, provide individuals with real-world experiences and aid in their professional development.

Delegates were asked what their organisation’s most critical area of focus for digital transformation is, and the majority answered citizen-centric services.

Some felt that it is important for the government to talk to people about their needs and get them involved in making policies and designing and delivering services. Others said that cloud adoption and data management as storing data in the cloud offer an automated backup strategy, professional support and easy access from anywhere.

On their top motivator for digital transformation, a majority of delegates indicated that it was public expectations for data-driven decisions to continue to climb and that digital change equals corporate transformation.

Data has long been acknowledged as a government asset, but it can now be shared and used more easily both inside government and among people, entrepreneurs and researchers to solve persistent civic problems.

The third poll asked the delegated what are their challenges in facing digital transformation. The majority indicated that it was driving the adoption of new tools and processes while others answered lack of change management strategy.

The difficulty of adopting new technologies is not limited to the digital workplace or organisational communication solutions. Regardless of the technology, implementing a new style of working into people’s life involves effort.

Effective change management and user acceptance begin with the realisation that there is a process for change management and that approaching it mindfully and intentionally can generate excellent results. Changes must be placed in the correct corporate context, linked to a plan and conveyed consistently throughout the process.

Regarding the major obstacle organisations are encountering when using AI strategy, most answered it to be the lack of properly skilled teams as the companies with mismatched talent strategy could be in danger due to a lack of digital capabilities.

Inquiring about their biggest challenge in using cloud-based services,  budget and procurement were the main issues followed by security/trust in cloud services.

The cloud’s promise is clear as it shows its benefits over conventional solutions in terms of processing power, organisational effectiveness and financial efficiency.

The cloud story is the best example of how technology empowers people in their daily lives and at work. With cloud, businesses can now reallocate resources from maintaining IT systems and infrastructure to other tasks that boost business performance, like innovation or research, because it offers both agility and stability.

Mohit emphasised that technologies are designed to answer complicated issues, hence technology is becoming increasingly simple. Moreover, the appearance of devices is becoming as essential as how they function.

The legacy of a person is about living and being alive. It is about gaining knowledge from the past, living in the present and constructing the future. The concept of legacy is a potent life tool for individuals of all ages and a catalyst for social and digital transformation.

Organisations that opt for cloud migration can gain a technological advantage by enhancing their offerings to stakeholders. Everything will go well as the organisation, whether in the public or private sector, reaps the benefits of cloud services. Multiple teams can access and manage their work across the enterprise. Thus, there is a high level of coordination between groups, which promotes work efficiency.

“Cloud is a necessity and having the right partnership matters in digital transformation,” Mohit concludes.

Amir believes that analytics and AI solutions in the public sector are just around the corner due to the connectivity and compute power, putting the attainment of a higher degree of intelligence well within grasp. Thus, consumers are now expected to use data to generate value as well.

The rate of development is astounding today. With the help of technological advancements that are now able to teach and train machines to perform jobs that in the past were either impossible or required an exceedingly long time to complete.

“Analytics is how AI can assist businesses in achieving unique company objectives. SAS will assist in finding new connections as well as recognise patterns that haven’t been seen before; automate the work; learn new things about the world with the help of analytics and statistics,” he ends emphatically.

The Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) has announced that its Talent Programme (ATP) will continue for a fourth year to support exceptional undergraduate and master’s graduates who wish to pursue their Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degrees in Artificial Intelligence and other related fields.

While completing an industrial R&D project, the ATP in NTU sponsors Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents to pursue postgraduate degrees in computer science areas at NTU Singapore. Intakes for the programme’s first and second semesters, respectively, are in August 2022 and January 2023, respectively, for new applicants.

The initiative allows students to gain valuable hands-on experience at one or more of the sponsor’s research facilities, including a Joint Research Institute (JRI). Each PhD candidate is mentored by at least one supervisor from NTU, and one co-supervisor from the industry sponsor.

“…the JRI was established to focus on the human-centred research and development in emerging computing technologies that supports Singapore’s ambitious Smart Nation initiative and its industrial transformation. By hosting the ATP 2 students at JRI, we hope to develop budding talents that will be future captains of the digital economy,” says Professor Lam Khin Yong, Senior Vice President for Research, NTU.

ATP is supported by the Industrial Postgraduate Programme (IPP) of the Singapore Economic Development Board, which aims to offer postgraduate students industry-relevant training in collaboration with various business partners and institutions of higher learning. For the IPP PhD Program, the JRI has received over 2500 applications; 65 Singaporeans and SPRs were chosen.

The programme hopes to support Singapore’s role in achieving this potential because the potential for digital technologies to add new value to industry and society is greater than anything can currently fathom. Making technology more inclusive and accessible for everyone, whether they live in Singapore or elsewhere, is a goal of the city-state.

Furthermore, students are closely supervised and supported by mentors who are top researchers in their fields such as visual AI, Natural Language Processing (NLP), edge computing, and autonomous driving, in addition to working with real business intelligence and tools.

Instead of only conducting theoretical research, NTU Singapore seeks to make a difference by developing solutions that can be used in practical use cases. Working with mentors who are all interested in putting theory into practice has been really inspiring and has significantly sped up the student’s learning curve for turning ideas into reality.

Both former and present ATP programme participants have the chance to realise their ideas while being supervised by their mentors. For instance, students have advanced autonomous driving-related projects, created digital twins of data centres that can replicate wind flow and temperature changes to facilitate research into effective cooling methods, and used medical imaging analysis and machine learning to predict the likelihood of dementia and Parkinson’s disease in seniors.

Furthermore, over 140 research publications have been published by the IPP students and staff from JRI, and more than 70 translational research projects – projects “translating” academic findings into practical applications have also been started.

The JRI will increase the scope of its research initiatives in the future to achieve sustainable development and strives to play a significant role in allowing new breakthroughs and solutions to fulfil the Sustainable Development Goals as outlined by the United Nations by utilising AI and cloud technology.

The Hong Kong Productivity Council (HKPC) recently announced the signing of a collaboration agreement; a leading global provider of network security has commissioned HKPC as Industry 4.0 (i4.0) technical consultants to design and build four intelligent production lines for prefabricated steel reinforcing bar (rebar) parts.

The lines are aimed at meeting the local market demand for increased production and quality improvement of steel products, and simultaneously solve the shortage of skilled workers and land use. The project has also successfully applied for the Re-industrialisation Funding Scheme of the Innovation and Technology Commission of the HKSAR Government, receiving a subsidy of about HK$3.9 million.

In recent years, Hong Kong’s bar bending and fixing trade have faced several challenges. For example, the ageing population of skilled workers. In addition to the slower rate of adoption of advanced construction technologies, there are also the issues of rebar quality and work-related accidents one has to contend with. Currently, there are only four approved off-site rebar prefabrication yards in Hong Kong, which can only meet 11% of the total rebar demand.

Considering these issues and the market’s ardent demand for increased production of prefabricated rebar parts, the tech firm sought out HKPC’s assistance in providing tailored technologies and professional support to address its pain points and needs. This includes focusing on its request to produce small-sized prefabricated rebar parts with a diameter of usually less than 16 millimetres. From finding a suitable production site to designing the new intelligent production lines, HKPC not only meets the demand of the firm but also supports the current development direction of the HKSAR Government to promote the off-site production of prefabricated rebar parts.

HKPC will provide a one-stop service for the tech firm, from the layout of the production plant; the design and set up of data collection and network security topography, production equipment specifications, digital system and peripheral equipment specifications; construction of industrial Internet for equipment connection; assembling production lines; setting up data visualisation systems and production operation dashboards; establishing mechanical intelligent auxiliary systems; to a series of enterprise digital integration systems related to intelligent manufacturing, enabling the company to achieve the intelligent production of rebar precast parts.

HKPC will develop the layout of the intelligent production lines according to the firm’s factory environment and its management expectation of production needs. With lean production as its goal, HKPC will consider factors such as the dimensions of existing and to-be-purchased equipment, work and material flow, safe operating areas, environmental hygiene, noise and safety requirements, and optimise the production process of rebar precast parts without affecting other processes and with minimal moving distance, to reduce the occurrence of crossover and reverse flow.

HKPC will also formulate an intelligent production line upgrade plan to achieve the real-time generation and provision of data and information for all operations based on Ii4.0) standards. A digital enterprise operating system will also be established. It will employ a digital order management system and an internal logistics tracking system for the digitalisation of sales order management, keeping tabs on management to delivery, and tracking the production progress and delivery status of the orders.

The company will enabled to obtain real-time tracking information and related customer information on all process handovers, material out/inbound and production quality records to achieve remote monitoring of production, paperless operation and descriptive data analysis, thereby leading to significant increases in both efficiency and production capacity. In addition, HKPC will provide i4.0 technical and operation training for STGL management to familiarise themselves with real-time tracking of production status and remote monitoring of production lines.

The Chief Executive of HKPC stated that by leveraging the advanced technologies of i4.0 such as sensors, data analysis, the Internet, advanced human-machine interface, robots, image processing, artificial intelligence and other technologies, the production and operation pain points and achieve upgrading, transformation and intelligent manufacturing will be addressed.

The HKPC CE added that the introduction of intelligent production in the bar bending and fixing industry is expected to further promote the large-scale development of Modular Integrated Construction (MIC) in Hong Kong, and serve as a model for other trades in the construction industry. Concurrently, the accuracy, quality and safety of building structures are expected to be improved, providing and stabilising Hong Kong’s future huge demand for prefabricated rebar products in basic infrastructure and public housing, as well as nurturing mid-to-high-end talents and creating new job opportunities.

In the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, several provinces in Vietnam are focusing on boosting e-commerce and have developed e-commerce trading floors. In fact, as of March, 44 out of 63 provinces and cities in the country had built their own e-commerce platforms.

Most of these platforms are developed and managed by local departments of Industry and Trade. Up to 75% of these platforms use national domain names. The funding for the construction and operation of these platforms mainly comes from the state budget.

According to a report, however, most e-commerce platforms built and operated by local governments are inefficient, with a low number of transactions, a poor range of products, outdated technology, and a lack of support services such as marketing, payment, and order fulfilment. Most of these platforms only offer information about sellers and products. The government should focus on training business households in digital skills and providing them with support and opportunities to compete globally.

Meanwhile, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, the two leading localities in e-commerce are taking advantage of professional e-commerce trading floors. The northern province of Bac Giang is the most successful example of selling agricultural products this way. Over the past year, through online trading platforms, the province sold over 48,000 tons of oranges, 36,000 tons of pomelo, more than 60,000 tons of pork, and about 17,000 tons of chicken and a variety of agricultural products.

Vietnam became the second largest e-commerce market in Southeast Asia in the first half of 2022, behind only Indonesia. Vietnam’s e-commerce market is expected to grow significantly and reach US$39 billion by 2025. The country could be the fastest growing e-commerce market in Southeast Asia in the next five years.

In March, the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) approved a plan to support agricultural production households on e-commerce platforms, promoting the development of the digital economy of agriculture and rural areas. MIC aims to have ten million active accounts on the state-owned e-commerce sites Postmart and Vo So. As OpenGov Asia reported, the plan also aims to put all 3-star one-commune-one-product (OCOP) items online.

Launched in 2018, the OCOP initiative seeks to boost the economic contribution of the agricultural sector by supporting products and service-based products in each locality to create a value chain of private and public players. All products are ranked on a 5-star evaluation system and are graded out of one hundred points in terms of product development, marketing and product quality, and the ability to expand to other markets, among other categories. 3-star products score between 50-69 points and are provincial-level products.

MIC will digitally train and upskill all farming households as well as increase the number and value of transactions on Postmart and Vo So. It will help farming households promote, advertise, and introduce new products, and expand to domestic and international markets. Through the online market sites, farming households can access information about farm produce markets, predictions about demand, production capacity, weather forecasts, and reports about varieties and fertilisers.

Supporting the agricultural digital economy is one of the focal points of the National Digital Transformation Programme, which was approved by the Prime Minister in June 2020. The programme identified agriculture as one of eight priority sectors and fields for digital transformation.

Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), an agency under the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia Malaysia (K-KOMM), recently announced the third instalment of the Let’s Learn Digital (LLD), an upskilling programme covering a wide array of digital tech courses.

Launched under MDEC’s #mydigitalworkforce initiative in 2020, this year’s programme will provide opportunities for the Malaysian workforce to upskill themselves through digital tech courses in areas such as data science, cybersecurity, animation, game development, digital global business services, financial technology (FinTech), digital marketing, cloud and many more.

For the third instalment, MDEC is collaborating with four tech giants and training providers under its Digital Skills Training Directory to make available a host of free-of-charge courses. Registration for courses began on 1 July 2022 and will continue until 30 September 2022. Registered participants can opt to undergo training that has been scheduled during the period between 1 July 2022 and 31 December 2022.

The CEO of MDEC stated that the agency MDEC will continue to work hard to ensure the pipeline for a digitally-skilled and capable workforce goes unhindered. He noted that a dynamic digital ecosystem requires equally productive digital talents to be developed coherently as they believe a good digital talent pool is as vital as advanced machinery. Locally, we have seen many digital jobs have been vacant, or being filled by expatriates, owing to the gap in the digital skills of Malaysians.

With a programme like LLD, the creation of the talent pool through collaboration with industry partners who will provide insights on the current skills and job demand as well as expertise can be stepped up. Among the courses being offered include Blueprint Digital Marketing Associate Certification by two of the world’s leading technology companies.

Meanwhile, the Skill Builder programme by another tech giant will allow participants to turn a huge amount of complex data into knowledge by applying the most advanced analytics, business intelligence, data management and AI solutions.

With the fourth industry partner, participants could enhance their knowledge of Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) with expert-led digital training and build cloud proficiency on OCI.

With the inclusion of training providers from the Digital Skills Training Directory, various digital courses are also being offered, particularly on the subject of data science, cybersecurity, software development, animation, game development, financial technology (FinTech) and digital global business services. Training can also include Scrum, Tableau, SAP and Robotic Process Automation (RPA), among others.

In 2021, MDEC launched the #mydigitalworkforce initiative which is aimed at incentivising employers to hire unemployed Malaysians via digital re-skilling or upskilling. The initiative also aims to meet the strong demand for digital business services jobs, and higher-value digital tech jobs.

Meanwhile, MDEC’s industry partners will:

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