Singh made the statement while delivering his opening remarks at the 8th ASEAN Economic Community Dialogue, themed “Promoting the Growth of the Digital Start-Up Ecosystem in ASEAN”, held in Jakarta on October 5.
He said ASEAN’s economic growth is projected to be around 5% this year and 5.3% next year, much higher than the global average. It was estimated that the digital economy will contribute 363 billion USD to ASEAN’s GDP by 2025, he added.
E-commerce remains an area of interest to both ASEAN and non-ASEAN investors, he said, noting that e-commerce revenue is expected to reach 140 billion USD in 2022 and enjoy an average growth of 15% annually until 2025.
He highlighted the importance of fintech in the digital economy, saying the sector will record robust growth with regional digital transactions predicted to total 195 billion USD this year.
The official also described digital start-ups as the key to ASEAN’s economic recovery and a catalyst to regional economic growth, saying the ASEAN Digital Masterplan 2025 views the growth of digital start-ups as a high priority.
He moved on to share several ASEAN initiatives to support digital start-ups, including an ASEAN customs mechanism for e-commerce, the adoption of digital identification for ASEAN businesses, and an effort to develop a regional legal framework facilitating paperless trade.
The 8th ASEAN Economic Community Dialogue featured two sessions – “Unlocking ASEAN’s Entrepreneurial Potential” and “Shaping ASEAN Digital Start-Up’s Growth for Good” – with notable speakers sharing their perspectives on how the digital start-up ecosystem in the region can be enhanced for economic growth in an equitable, inclusive, sustainable manner.