New agreement to drive cross-border e-commerce across ASEAN

22 Nov 2018

Economic ministers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have signed the first regional agreement on e-commerce.

The ASEAN Agreement on E-commerce aims to increase the use of e-commerce as a way of driving economic growth and social development in the region.

Under the agreement, ASEAN member nations will work together to create an environment that facilitates cross-border e-commerce transactions. This includes advancing trade rules in e-commerce and building greater digital connectivity across the region.

‘The agreement means there is no better time for Australian business to start exploring the opportunities that e-commerce presents in the ASEAN region,’ says Sally Ann Watts, General Manager, ASEAN and Pacific, Austrade.

Austrade has two guides covering the e-commerce markets in Indonesia and Thailand, with guides for Malaysia and Vietnam coming soon. Austrade also has a guide to online exporting to help businesses get started in e-commerce.

E-commerce in ASEAN is expected to grow at a 14% compound annual growth rate over the next five years, equalled only by India.

By contrast, China, the world’s largest e-commerce market, is predicted to grow at only 4%.

Forecast internet and e-commerce growth in six ASEAN countries

A large young and digital-savvy population and sustained economic growth is expected to drive ASEAN’s internet economy.

Google estimates that around 3.8 million new Southeast Asian users come online every month, making it the fastest-growing internet market in the world. Google also forecasts that there will be 480 million internet users in ASEAN by 2020.

Australia’s free trade agreements with ASEAN countries have dedicated chapters that help facilitate e-commerce, promote cross-border digital trade and build confidence in the online environment.

Contact Austrade to find out more about e-commerce opportunities across ASEAN.