Home » Customs & Trade, Press Releases » ASEAN e-commerce pact a boon to small businesses—DTI 

Philippine businesses are expected to benefit from the newly signed Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Agreement on E-Commerce, which aims to provide a holistic approach to the growth and support of the booming industry, according to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

The agreement, signed November 12 during the ASEAN Summit held in Singapore, provides a set of policies, principles, and rules for governing cross-border e-commerce in ASEAN. It aims to adopt a holistic approach to the development and promotion of e-commerce in the region, nurture an enabling e-commerce environment, and promote public interest.

DTI said Philippine businesses—especially micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs)—as well as Filipino consumers should benefit from the agreement.

“E-commerce enables MSMEs to have wider and greater market reach at practically no additional, or very minimal, overhead cost. It also allows consumers to have access to a wealth of products and services in the world,” Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said in a statement.

The agreement will facilitate cross-border e-commerce such as paperless trading, electronic authentication and electronic signatures, online consumer protection, cross-border transfer of information by electronic means, online personal information protection, and location of computing facilities.

It will also deepen ASEAN cooperation in ICT infrastructure, education and technology competency, online consumer protection, e-commerce legal and regulatory frameworks, electronic transaction security, electronic payment and settlement, trade facilitation, intellectual property rights, competition, cybersecurity, and logistics.

“For PH, the agreement will provide the push to further improve the policy environment and the necessary infrastructure for e-commerce. The entry of the third telecommunications provider in the country is a welcome move to enable more entrepreneurs to do e-commerce and enable the development of new business models enabled by e-commerce,” Lopez said.

The ASEAN Agreement on E-Commerce is one of the deliverables of the ASEAN Work Program on E-Commerce. Discussions on the agreement started at the second meeting of the ASEAN Coordinating Committee on E-Commerce in June 2017 during the Philippines’ ASEAN hosting year, with negotiations concluded in July 2018.

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