- The EU-ASEAN
Business Council today launched a new publication: 'Growing a Stronger Digital Future in Southeast Asia'.
- The paper focuses on the policies needed to bring the full benefits of the
Fourth Industrial Revolution to Southeast Asia, as a follow-up to the first
paper 'Ensuring Success for the Digital Economy in ASEAN' which was published
- The EU-ABC
recommends ASEAN Member States allow for freest possible flow of data, faster development
of digital infrastructure and opening to increased foreign investment, common
standards and approaches to e-Commerce, and enhancements in education to equip
the people of Southeast Asia to meet the increasing demands of the digital age.
EU-ABC continues to encourage ASEAN Member States to adopt proposals advocated
by ASEAN and international business groups to facilitate faster and simplified
customs clearances for low value shipments which would help MSMEs and boost
e-commerce in ASEAN.
- The EU-ABC
also calls for greater collaboration between the ASEAN Member States and the
- Media OutReach - 28 June 2019 - Following on this year's theme for
ASEAN "Advancing Partnership for Sustainability" and the strong focus from
Thailand on Industry 4.0 under its Chairmanship of ASEAN, the EU-ASEAN Business
Council (EU-ABC) today launched its second paper by its Digital Economy
Advocacy Group entitled, 'Growing a Stronger Digital Future in Southeast Asia'.
The paper focuses on the creation and growth of a strong digital economy in
ASEAN to boost economic growth and development in the region, and is being
published on the occasion of the EU-ABC's Annual General Meeting and Gala
Dinner. The Gala Dinner is being
attended by Minister S. Iswaran, Singapore's Minister-in-charge of Trade
on the EU-ABC's recommendations set out in the paper, Mr Donald Kanak, Chairman
of the EU-ABC, said:
"European businesses appreciate the opportunity to contribute to
healthy development of the Digital Economy in ASEAN. Creating the right policy
environment for healthy development of the Digital Economy is critical for
ASEAN's international competitiveness and long term growth. Digital
eco-systems require public and private collaboration, investment in infrastructure
and education and constant focus on both accessibility and security."
Executive Director of the EU-ASEAN Business
Council, Chris Humphrey, added:
"Just as consumers are hungry for cheaper and
faster delivery of goods and services, companies are faced with lagging
infrastructure, institutions, and human capital development to meet the
demands. While the foundations are being laid to support the digital economy,
both the public and private sectors must co-operate to build a consistent and
highly efficient system that empowers consumers, businesses, and governments by
allowing for the freest possible flow of cross-border data, ensuring that the
right infrastructure is in place to support the digital economy, and adopting
best practices to ensure the smoother and faster flow of e-Commerce."
The paper notes that "there are several areas
where further regional development and collaboration is needed if ASEAN is to
get the greatest possible benefit out of the digital economy. Creating an eco-system to encourage
businesses to develop digital platforms to enable them to reach new markets and
consumers, exchange and interpret effectively data, make and receive payments
in a speedy and low-cost manner, while meeting the increasing demands and expectations
of end-consumers, is of vital importance."
1. EU-ASEAN Trade
and Investment Relationship
trade and investment relationship between the European Union and ASEAN is
strong and growing. The EU is the largest economy in the world and is ASEAN's
largest source of foreign direct investment. The EU is also ASEAN's second
largest trading partner, after China.
2. About the
EU-ASEAN Business Council
The EU-ASEAN Business Council (EU-ABC) is the recognised voice for
European business within the ASEAN region. It is recognised both by the
European Commission and the ASEAN Secretariat, recently being accredited as an
Entity associated with ASEAN under Annex 2 of the ASEAN Charter. Independent of
both bodies, the Council has been established to help promote the interests of
European businesses operating within ASEAN and to advocate for changes in
policies and regulations which would help promote trade and investment between
Europe and the ASEAN region.
As such, the Council works on a sectorial and cross-industry basis
to help improve the investment and trading conditions for European Businesses
in the ASEAN region by sharing information and ideas with policy and decision
makers and amongst its members and regional players within the ASEAN region.
membership consists of large European Multi-National Corporations and the nine
European Chambers of Commerce from around Southeast Asia, representing a
diverse range of European industries cutting across almost every commercial
sphere from car manufacturing through to financial services and including FMCG
and high-end electronics and communications. Our members share a common aim to
enhance trade, commerce and investment between Europe and ASEAN.
of the Digital Economy Paper:
This paper makes recommendations
in several policy areas: Digital Infrastructure, Data Governance,
E-Commerce and the Movement of Goods and Services, Digital Payments, Payment
and Settlement Systems, Digital Taxation, and Human Capital Development. The
recommendations are aimed at creating and growing a
strong digital economy in the ASEAN region.
ASEAN is a
region of huge potential and opportunity. The rates of development are
extraordinary. The political leadership of the region are right to point out
the very high GDP growth rates. The young, increasingly tech-savvy population, the high rates
of urbanisation, the diversity of Southeast Asia, and the increasing numbers of
middle-class people with more disposable income, all point to a bright future
for the region.
no doubt that the digital economy has the power to add significantly to
economic growth and development in Southeast Asia.
own research has stated that "disruptive technologies (particularly mobile
internet, big data, cloud technology, the Internet of Things, the automation of
knowledge work and the social, mobile, analytics and the cloud) could unleash
some US$220 billion to US$625 billion in annual economic impact in ASEAN by
Yet, this fast-paced potential growth poses both an opportunity and a challenge
for governments in Southeast Asia.
several areas where further regional development and collaboration is needed if
ASEAN is to get the greatest possible benefit out of the digital economy.
Creating an eco-system to encourage businesses to develop digital platforms to
enable them to reach new markets and consumers, exchange and interpret
effectively data, make and receive payments in a speedy and low-cost manner,
while meeting the increasing demands and expectations of end consumers, is of
addition to ensuring that the right physical infrastructure is in place,
governments will need to ensure that the right policies and regulatory regimes
are developed to encourage the exchange of data, the movement of goods and
services that are sold via digital platforms and innovation in new digital
products and services.
Finally, it is essential that the
right skill sets are developed in ASEAN to support the further development of
the Digital Economy: this will involve governments in the region adapting
existing education programmes to improve and encourage the teaching of ICT
Member companies from the EU-ASEAN
Business Council stand ready to collaborate and partner on the recommendations
outlined in this paper.
download the position paper, please go to https://www.eu-asean.eu/publications.
 Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity 2025, p.48.