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Closed Door Discussion on "Enabling Policies and Regulations towards Inclusive E-Commerce in ASEAN"


18 April 2018 – The ASEAN Studies Centre (ASC) of ISEAS - Yusof Ishak Institute and the Singapore Business Federation (SBF) jointly organised a closed-door discussion titled ‘Enabling Policies and Regulations towards Inclusive E-Commerce in ASEAN’. The objectives were to - a) discuss issues faced by regional businesses – especially SMEs – in two key areas in e-commerce, namely, customs and trade facilitation and cross-border flow of information; and b) elicit feedback and recommendations from active market players on possible solutions.

Participants from the ASEAN region at the closed door discussion session (Credit: ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute)

The half-day event was held at Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel, Singapore, and was attended by 50 participants from policy-making, businesses as well as research institutes.

As a general finding, the closed-door session highlighted that the ASEAN E-commerce Agreement should embrace harmonised and transparent cross-border e-commerce regulations. It should follow international standards and should ensure inclusivity, especially for the small-and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The session also emphasized the role of regular dialogues between ASEAN policymakers and businesses to ensure both parties work together to reap the potential benefit of the e-commerce sector in the region.

Panellists and moderator from Session 1 on Customs and Trade Facilitation (Credit: ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute)

The key findings and recommendations on both the issues of customs and trade facilitation and cross-border data flow were presented to the ASEAN Coordinating Committee on E-Commerce (ACCEC) on 20th April 2018.

Participants deep in discussion at one of the breakout sessions (Credit: ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute)

Panellists and the moderator from Session 2: Cross-Border Flow of Information (Credit: ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute)