As APEC member economies strove to build the ICT infrastructure necessary for the economic development, the phenomenon of the so-called “digital divide” also emerged. To support of APEC Economic Leaders’ decisions on transforming the digital divide into digital opportunities, Chinese Taipei in 2003 proposed APEC Digital Opportunity Center (ADOC) initiative during the 11th APEC Economic Leaders’ meeting in Bangkok. The proposal was welcomed by the APEC Economic Leaders.
Since that time, ADOC has brought together the capabilities and resources of public and private sectors to set up APEC Digital Opportunity Centers (ADOCs) in urban and rural areas in association with local authorities, universities, secondary schools, and non-profit or non-governmental organizations.
Thus far, ADOC has cooperated with ten ADOC partner member economies (hereinafter PMEs) to take concrete steps to address the digital divide issue. Peru, the Philippines and Vietnam joined the project as the pioneering partners, followed by Chile, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea in 2006, Thailand in 2008, Mexico in 2009, Malaysia in 2010 and Russia as the in 2011.
ADOC vision is to reduce digital divides in the APEC region by enabling people to overcome limitations due to age, gender, health, social or education status, and to enjoy the 4A (anytime, anyone, anywhere, anything) benefits of digitalization.
With the ADOC Project entering its tenth year, 2014 represents a milestone with 101 centers completed since its inception. The progress in transforming the divide into digital opportunities for those in need has been made possible through close collaboration among the 10 PMEs and Chinese Taipei. But there is still much work to be done.
2014 is a turning point for the ADOC Project, since we are assessing its overall performance in order to find ways to move the work forward more effectively.
Looking ahead, we will continue working with APEC economies toward a more inclusive APEC community by:
- Participating in local government projects to enhance the linkage of ADOC trainings with the development of local industries and communities to improve regional competitiveness and employment.
- Fostering the ADOC network to facilitate experiences and good practice sharing, thus paving the way for a more inclusive and innovative APEC community.
- Enhancing training capacity through standardized training materials and the e-learning platform for the centers, and developing a certification system to promote job opportunities.
- Helping centers operate self-sustainably capitalizing on resources from partner economies and the ADOC Secretariat, developing business opportunities built on their skills, and localizing the ADOC Project in their communities.