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Singapore to focus ASEAN on e-commerce, digital economy in 2018MOEA

Organization: Department of International Cooperation   

Singapore is set to assume the ASEAN chairmanship in 2018 and plans to direct the grouping's focus on e-commerce and initiatives related to the digital economy.

Most ASEAN member states have an interest in developing their e-commerce capability, to incorporate into emerging opportunities presented by the digital economy. Regional trade rules governing e-commerce will be streamlined to promote greater digital connectivity in the region and lower operating barriers.

Singapore wants e-commerce companies to expand and the digital economy to grow in Southeast Aisa, and intends to make trade more efficient by working closely with the other ASEAN members to set up a self-certification regime. This will allow authorized exporters to self-certify that their goods meet ASEAN requirements for preferential treatment.

Another initiative on Singapore's to-do list is implementing the so-called ASEAN single window. This will speed up customs clearance through the electronic exchange of information across borders, facilitating the movement of goods and lowering operation costs for businesses.

Meanwhile, Singapore and the United States are looking at ways of
deepening their collaboration in fields like infrastructure, financial technology, smart city solutions and e-commerce.

Singapore was the U.S.'s largest trading partner in Southeast Asia 13th largest export destination globally in 2016, with two-way trade amounting to roughly U.S. $ 68 billion.

Sources: The Straits Times, Channel NewsAsia, Out-Law