ASEAN countries sign first agreement on e-commerce
Updated : Tuesday, November 13, 2018 9:39 AM (GMT+0700)

Economic ministers fromthe Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on November 12 signed anagreement to facilitate cross-border e-commerce transactions within the region.

Trade ministers of ASEAN member countries pose for a photograph after signing an
agreement on e-commerce in Singapore on November 12 - Photo: Courtesy of the Singaporean
Trade and Industry Ministry

The agreement, finalised after nine rounds of negotiationswhich started last June, is the grouping's first agreement on e-commerce. Itwas signed on the sidelines of the 17th ASEAN Economic Community(AEC) Council Meeting in Singapore.

Apart from facilitating cross-border e-commerce transactions,the pact will also look to foster an environment of trust and confidence in theuse of e-commerce as well as enhance collaboration in promoting the regionaleconomic growth.

Speaking that the signing ceremony, Singapore Trade andIndustry Minister Chan Chun Sing said that ASEAN is now the fastest growingmarket in the world, with 330 million Internet users. By 2025, ASEAN’s Interneteconomy is forecast to increase four fold, reaching 200 billion USD compared to2017, with e-commerce set to grow to 88 billion USD.

“The agreement is testament to ASEAN’s commitment to create aconducive environment for the growth of e-commerce through advancing traderules in e-commerce and building up greater digital connectivity within theregion,” he said. 

It will encourage paperless trading between businesses andgovernments, which can generate more rapid and efficient transactions in ASEAN.

Businesses can access and move data across borders moreeasily, subject to appropriate safeguards, he added.

Source: VNA

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