Continuing our previous article, ASEAN’s E-commerce Challenges, we’re proud to feature opportunities for e-commerce in ASEAN as well. Southeast Asia wants to be an e-commerce giant, with phenomenal growth rates surpassing those of the US and EU.

The sheer size of ASEAN alone makes it a viable market for e-commerce businesses. Not only does ASEAN consist of more than 600 million people, but just initiated a landmark integration project called the ASEAN Economic Community. The community aims to transform the 10 member nations into a single market, greatly reducing tariffs and encouraging free trade.

This represents opportunities for both large e-commerce companies and smaller businesses of any size.

There’s huge growth potential in the e-commerce market of ASEAN. But this doesn’t mean the current market is insignificant now. The e-commerce retail market in just the 6 countries of Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam is worth over US$7 billion.

It’s important to note that only 29% of ASEAN’s huge population has access to the internet. The e-commerce industry is set to grow naturally as internet penetration increases.






With that said, there are two key drivers which are opening up opportunities for development of e-commerce in ASEAN.


1. Increase in Purchasing Power

In many ASEAN countries, middle and affluent class populations will double in a few years’ time. With GDP per capita expected to rise by about 7% per year, economic growth will be one of the main drivers for e-commerce in ASEAN.


2. Growth in Internet Penetration

With more internet access, more people will be exposed to e-commerce. Market research reveals the lack of internet access is one key barrier keeping many ASEAN countries from fully engaging in e-commerce. Banks and telecom companies are taking initiative to bring greater internet penetration. Most people in ASEAN will be able to make online transactions by 2025.

About Reid Kirchenbauer

Reid Kirchenbauer is the Founder of InvestAsian. He's experienced with trading stocks and buying property in Thailand, Cambodia, and elsewhere. He's been featured in publications such as Forbes, Nomad Capitalist, Property Report, and Seeking Alpha. Download his free investment guide by clicking here.

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