The Digital Economy Report of UNCTAD presents a consolidated and holistic understanding of the Pacific small island developing states’ (SIDS) complexities and interdependencies to the current and anticipated gaps, and opportunities for digital development. The report also detailed approaches on the way forward to minimize the disparity and achieve optimal benefits of the digital economy. Digital transformation, in a perfect world, leads to more jobs, optimal economic productivity, and expanded regional and international markets. However, circumstances in between, such as political realities, economic status-quo, and social and cultural precedence, have impeded countries to harness the opportunities for development.
Technological affordances highly depend on an environment that enables it to thrive. This includes (1) constant update on relevant policies governing digital advances (based on real-time data) that can anticipate future markets, (2) investment in ICT infrastructures and digital technologies tailored to country’s context, (3) multi-stakeholders coordinated and harmonized approach (local, regional, and international), and (4) consistent enhancement of digital literacy across populations. And more importantly, the report highlights the importance of inclusion at the center of the digital development agenda to achieve transformative changes envisioned in 2030 SDGs.