ASEAN's Digital Economy Is Projected to Grow by 500% and Be Worth $200 Billion by 2025
ASEAN is the world's fastest growing internet region. It is forecast that by 2020 the internet user base will reach 480 million, up from 260 million in 2016. That translates to nearly 4 million new users coming online every month. ASEAN has gone "mobile first" with over 700 million active mobile connections, more than the entire population of the region. The user base is large and growing quickly, and is increasingly middle class and predominantly young. Social media is used by over half of ASEAN's population of 630 million people, making it one of the world's largest social media markets.
With digitalization comes increased opportunities for both ASEAN and US businesses to reach new customers and suppliers. It is projected that online spending could rise 6.5 times to $200 billion by 2025, fueled by consumption of electronics, clothing, household goods and groceries, and by increased travel within the region. ASEAN SMEs especially stand to benefit from increased connectivity, access to digital tools, and rising online consumer demand. To harness this potential, the US government and businesses have provided support to over 120,000 entrepreneurs since 2011, including through the US-ASEAN Business Alliance for Competitive SMEs and the online ASEAN SME Academy.