US-ASEAN Business Council (US-ABC) and Singapore-based KPMG commissioned a study in 2020 which envisions an integrated ASEAN market for electronic commerce (e-commerce). The full report of the study was presented to the ASEAN Economic Ministers (AEM) in August 2020, to be further followed up for implementation in coordination with the ASEAN Coordinating Committee on Electronic Commerce (ACCEC). To facilitate the discussion with the ACCEC and other relevant sectoral bodies in ASEAN, this summarized version of the report was developed, highlighting the key results of the study, including the suggested governance of the 12 proposed initiatives.
The opportunities presented by cross-border e-commerce in ASEAN are tremendous. ASEAN’s middle-class population is growing and leading increasingly digital lifestyles. Socio-economic forces are shifting consumer behavior and changing the business landscape, especially in the light of – and accelerated by – the global COVID-19 pandemic.
Seamless cross-border e-commerce is not only a critical enabler for economic recovery, but also facilitates the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the region to go online and go global. Governments play an imperative role in creating an enabling environment for merchants, consumers and other relevant industry players to participate in e-commerce with trust, choice, and convenience. A coordinated e-commerce market will promote intra-regional flow of goods, present more opportunities for ASEAN’s MSMEs, and ultimately result in new economic and social gains for ASEAN Member States (AMS).
To achieve that goal, this report proposes practical and impactful initiatives to help ASEAN further develop e-commerce and advance the vision of a single market. We engaged a range of stakeholders within the ASEAN e-commerce ecosystem to identify the pain points, challenges and opportunities across the different segments of e-commerce value chain. These stakeholders include online marketplaces, payment providers and financial institutions, logistics providers, technology solution players, and e-commerce associations. Various government stakeholders were also consulted to ensure the feasibility of the initiatives contained in this report.