ASEAN member countries sign agreement on electronic commerce

ASEAN member countries sign agreement on electronic commerce

ASEAN (ANTARA News/Grafis)

By Azis Kurmala

Singapore, (ANTARA News) - Member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) signed the ASEAN Agreement on Electronic Commerce, or E-Commerce, to support development of the digital economy.

"Indonesia supports the development of digital economy and trade in ASEAN countries," Minister of Trade Enggartiasto Lukita remarked after signing the ASEAN Agreement on Electronic Commerce at the Suntec Convention Centre, Singapore, on Monday.

The ASEAN Agreement on Electronic Commerce was signed by other ASEAN economic ministers.

The signing was part of the series of the 33rd Asean Summit held on November 11-15, 2018.

In addition, Singapore`s Minister of Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing stated that e-commerce adoption in the ASEAN is still in its infancy as compared to China and the United States.

Non-tariff barriers, such as logistics and cross-border digital regulations, continue to pose challenges for MSMEs looking to capitalize on e-commerce opportunities, he remarked.

"In recognition of these challenges, I am happy that the ASEAN member states have concluded the ASEAN Agreement on E-Commerce, ASEAN`s first agreement to facilitate cross-border e-commerce transactions," the minister remarked.

This is a testament to ASEAN`s commitment to creating a conducive environment for the growth of e-commerce through advancing trade rules in e-commerce and building up greater digital connectivity within the region.

"I was told that we must be one of the first in the world to have this agreement," the minister remarked.

President Joko Widodo is scheduled to visit Singapore to attend the 33rd Asean Summit on November 13-15, 2018.

Apart from ASEAN leaders, several heads of state from countries, such as the United States, Russia, China, Japan, India, and South Korea, also attended the summit.

Editing Sri Haryati