Understanding the ASEAN Digital Economy Framework Agreement: A Means to Support ASEAN Integration
The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the adoption of digital technologies, particularly in e-commerce and digital financial services. Recognizing the importance of digital technologies for economic recovery, in 2021, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) leaders signed the Bandar Seri Begawan Roadmap, which outlines a plan to deepen ASEAN’s digital integration and connectivity. The leaders also affirmed their interest in pursuing the Digital Economy Framework Agreement (DEFA), which aims to deepen existing digital economy cooperation and ensure the interoperability of digital economy systems. The formulation and signing of the DEFA will require the provision of flexible timelines and technical assistance, as the ASEAN Digital Integration Index shows that ASEAN is still in the early stages of digital economy development and that ASEAN members are at different levels of readiness for digital economy integration.
This policy brief examines the importance of further integrating ASEAN's digital economy and provides policy recommendations on the provisions that should be included in the DEFA.
- What Digital Economy Integration Means to ASEAN
- Defining the Digital Economy
- What Elements Are to Be Included in the ASEAN DEFA
- Policy Recommendations
Published April 2023.
Source: Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia
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