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Australia strengthens ties with 10 Asian countries to boost digital trade

20 Mar 18

Australia’s Government has announced big plans to boost digital trade and support across Australia and countries in Southeast Asia (ASEAN).

The Government has launched a joint initiative with ten countries of ASEAN to support inclusive economic across the region, in particular digital trade.

The ASEAN-Australia Digital Trade Standards Initiative provides a framework to support the development, adoption and use of international digital trade standards, the Minister for Jobs and Innovation Senator for Western Australia Michaelia Cash said in a joint statement with MP Steven Ciobo.

Ciobo is the Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment. The duo says harmonised international standards applied across the region will reduce the costs for Australian business when exporting and importing products and services.

Ultimately, this means local companies in Australia have better access to other ecosystems across the region which is home to over 600 million consumers.

The ASEAN e-commerce market is set to outpace global counterparts, forecasted to grow above 5.4% each year for the next decade.

Motivating the initiative, this growth offers value to Australian businesses looking to sell their products and services online.

Cash and Ciobo say international standards that enable digital trade will remove barriers that prevent businesses from accessing regional markets and create new opportunities for jobs and growth.

“It will help share the benefits of a more inclusive digital economy,” the duo adds.

“This initiative complements ASEAN’s existing digital economy agenda and builds on Australia and ASEAN’s long history of standards cooperation to promote regional economic integration and inclusive economic growth."

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