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Digital Trade Policy for Southeast Asia: Key Considerations

Nextrade's report the International Center for Trade and Sustainable Development analyzes key issues and policy options for Southeast Asian countries to bolster digital trade for development. 


Disruptive technologies are revolutionising the economics of global production and trade,
and the prospects of developing countries in the global economy. 


The digital revolution is opening opportunities for millions of micro entrepreneurs and small businesses to engage in cross-border trade, grow into multinational sellers, and craft their own global supply chains. It is enabling companies of all sizes to make, move, and market products and services faster and at a lower cost than ever before. It is helping consumers and companies access a vast variety of goods and services—and without intermediation by retail chains and distributors.
It is diversifying the make-up of trade, from goods shipped in containers to small parcels
sent by post, services sold online, and digital products and designs transported in the cloud.
It is accelerating trade transactions worldwide.


As such, it can play a transformative role in developing countries’ trade and growth. It can unlock new efficiencies and gains from trade for companies and consumers, sharpen specialization, propel exports and internationaliszation of small and medium-sized enterprises, and spur productivity and growth.

The purpose of this report is to propose specific ways in which developing countries can best
fuel trade in the digital era. The report pays special attention to Southeast Asia, a region where internet connectivity has skyrocketed with the proliferation of smartphones and where e-commerce is already playing a transformative role in fuelling SME development, trade, and economic growth.

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