Emerging Technologies Global Economics Article

Industry 4.0 in Southeast Asia

Industry 4 0 in South-East Asia the fourth industrial revolution

Top 15 Innovations of the Fourth Industrial Revolution –

Industry 4.0 or the “Fourth Industrial Revolution” can be defined as the fusion and the proliferation of emerging technology developments in industries that vary from artificial intelligence to renewable energy. The vigour and influence of these technologies is multiplied by the rapidly burgeoning connectivity between billions of people through enhanced mobility and the ease of accessing the growing nexus of data and knowledge.

Industry 4 levers statistics

A non-exhaustive list of fundamental technologies within the Industry 4.0 realm can be listed as the following:

  1. Big Data
  2. Smart Cities
  3. Blockchain/Bitcoin
  4. Artificial Intelligence
  5. Renewable Energy/Clean-tech
  6. FinTech
  7. E-Commerce
  8. Robotics
  9. 3D Printing
  10. Virtual/Augmented Reality
  11. Shared Economies
  12. IoThings
  13. Nanotechnology/2D Materials
  14. Biotechnology/Genetics & Agricultural Innovation
  15. Desalination and Enhanced Waste Management

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is not something of the distant future, indeed it is already here. Through the widespread adoption of Industry 4.0 practices, the world’s most dynamic region, Southeast Asia, has the potential to leapfrog ahead of other developing regions, such as the Middle East and Africa, by not only embracing but also contributing to the new technologies which will transform how people work, live and communicate.

Singapore is for example already a landmark in the globe for its cutting edge technological hub status across the board from smart urban planning to desalination and high-end engineering practices. Malaysia on the other hand is taking over the shared economy in the transportation scene in South East Asia with its rapidly growing “Grab” platform. Indonesia is successfully powering luxury properties located in natural resorts at Bali by building High Temperature Gas Reactors (HTGR), utilising advanced and clean technologies as a business model. The trend is not exclusive to these countries in the region and is apparent especially in infrastructural and agricultural areas.

Fourth industrial revolution industry 4 infographic statistics

The further assumption of Industry 4.0 technologies in Southeast Asia will allow large populations to bypass current structural constraints and leapfrog into greater efficiency in energy use and value production. If harnessed effectively and allocated for the public good, the changes will significantly improve the income levels, quality of life and even gender equality within the population due to increased mobility and democratisation of occupational platforms. Although, it must be noted that such developments will also bringing disastrous results to people involved in industries that will be phased out. It will also bring technology even further into our routines, potentially increasing addiction to devices and their negative health effects. Therefore both the positive and negative sides of the issue must be addressed with the same importance level.

Southeast Asian economies are forecast to grow at least 5% annually until 2020, exceeding global growth of 3.5%. The urban population in Southeast Asia is growing rapidly by almost 2.5% annually and the middle income population is set to increase by 70 million to 194 million by 2020. Such demographic trends, coupled with the increased interconnectivity between the numerous technologies will serve as multipliers in the rate of success of the Fourth Industrial Revolution in South East Asia.

Also be sure to read 11 Awesome Disruptive Technology Examples

About the author



Onat Kibaroglu is a PhD candidate at the National University of Singapore and a weekly contributor at the Global Times in Shanghai, one of the largest newspaper establishments in the PRC. At the time of writing he is working part-time at a Public Affairs & Relations consulting agency “Hume Brophy” at their Asian HQ in Singapore.

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