Singapore chairs ASEAN and gives priority to e-commerce

Singapore initiated its chairmanship of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) for 2018. Singapore singled out e-commerce as a priority, given that ASEAN’s digital economy is projected to reach US$200 billion by 2025. This prioritisation is backed by ASEAN Economic Community Blueprint 2025, which includes consumer data protection, secure payment systems, and coherence between legal frameworks for online disputes as key areas of interest towards trade facilitation. According to the Minister for Trade and Industry, Lim Hng Kiang, Singapore will work on developing e-commerce trade rules, lowering barriers to entry for firms, and developing digital connectivity. To facilitate trade, it will continue its efforts in implementing regional schemes such as the ASEAN Single Window for Customs facilitation and clearance, and ASEAN-wide self-certification regime.