Monarch: Brunei must build e-commerce to reap rewards of ASEAN single market

by Haadi Bakar
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The Sultan of Brunei is calling on his people to take advantage of the economic opportunities within ASEAN by boosting e-commerce and strengthening intra-regional trade.

With the ASEAN e-commerce market predicted to grow from US$30 billion in 2016 to US$200 billion by 2025, the monarch urged stakeholders in Brunei to embrace digital technology and lift industry standards so his country can reap the reward of ASEAN’s massive growth.

Image: Infofoto

In his televised address on New Years Eve, His Majesty the Sultan of Brunei underscored the need to intensify efforts to boost trade with its Southeast Asian neighbours. He stressed that in order to develop the economy, participation in the global network is key as it would increase the nation’s productivity and opportunities.

“The ASEAN region is moving fast towards economic growth. We must work towards the process of building the ASEAN Community itself, so we can ensure success for present and future generations,” said His Majesty, as reported by The Scoop.

“This means Brunei must enhance its cooperation with other countries,” the Brunei Sultan said, adding that advances in technology will “challenge our conventional skills” and would push the country to invest in lifelong learning.

The ASEAN single market is projected to become the world’s fourth largest economy by 2030.

According to Marc Woo, Google’s head of e-commerce, travel, and financial services, in a 2017 Bangkok Post report, Southeast Asia will be the next major boom market for e-commerce in Asia-Pacific (APAC).

The fast-paced e-commerce growth in the coming years is attributed to a growing middle class (400 million in 2020) and rapidly expanding internet access (600 million by 2025), Woo said.

After years of negative growth, Brunei’s economy is forecasted to expand by 5.9 per cent this year, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Source: The Scoop

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