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2020 APEC App Challenge Bolsters Region’s Tourism Industry Amid Covid-19

November 17, 2020 — This month, The Asia Foundation, together with Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and Google hosted the fourth annual APEC App Challenge. This year’s APEC App Challenge is the first to take place entirely online, bringing together 91 software developers and designers from across the 21 APEC member economies to design and build innovative mobile and web apps to help the region’s economy. The 2020 App Challenge focused on technologies to address the challenges brought on by Covid-19 on the tourism industry—a key sector across the region. 

Earlier this week, the winners were announced by the Malaysia Host Economy at the APEC Ministerial Meeting during APEC Leader’s Week. The winners of the 2020 App Challenge were selected after a rigorous live pitch session where participants presented their apps to APEC policymakers, entrepreneurs, and NGOs from across Asia. The winning app, String, was designed by Hoo Xing Yu and Louis Ong Bing Hao of Malaysia. The app helps tourists virtually queue up to purchase essential services and products while avoiding long lines and close quarters.

The Asia Foundation has been supporting the annual APEC App Challenge since 2017. The annual competition coincides with the APEC Leaders’ Meeting which, for the first time, will be virtually convening the region’s economic leaders to set a new vision on APEC’s goal of free and open trade and investment.

“We applaud Malaysia’s commitment and leadership this year despite the uncertainties and challenges brought by the pandemic,” said APEC Secretariat Executive Director, Dr Rebecca Sta Maria. “APEC officials are working hard, continuing engagement and collaborating digitally across eight different time zones. We are looking forward to the first-ever virtual Leaders’ Meeting and the important and relevant deliverables that will be announced this November.”

Follow #APECAppChallenge on Twitter to learn more about the innovative solutions, and watch a brief video about the 2020 virtual APEC App Challenge:

The Asia Foundation is a nonprofit international development organization committed to improving lives across a dynamic and developing Asia. Informed by six decades of experience and deep local expertise, our work across the region addresses five overarching goals—strengthen governance, empower women, expand economic opportunity, increase environmental resilience, and promote international cooperation.

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Related locations: Malaysia
Related programs: Technology & Development
Related topics: APEC

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