JAKARTA (Bernama): Asean member states are preparing to start negotiations for the Digital Economy Framework Agreement (DEFA) by year-end, to propel their digital economies and unlock US$2 trillion (US$1=RM4.64) by 2030.
The study on the Asean DEFA, which envisioned a harmonious digital landscape beyond existing agreements, was endorsed during the 55th Asean Economic Ministers’ (AEM) Meeting in Semarang, Indonesia, according to the Asean Secretariat in a statement today.
Based on the Boston Consulting Group’s analysis, Asean’s digital economy could naturally triple by 2030 to nearly US$1 trillion, with progressive DEFA rules potentially doubling this value contribution to US$2 trillion.
Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz, representing Malaysia at the meeting, said the study had identified nine key areas that Asean needed to focus on when initiating DEFA talks, including e-commerce, cross-border payments, data flow and protection, and regional talent mobility.
"For human capital, the DEFA will provide more opportunities for professionals to advance their careers and develop new skills as well as retraining and lifelong learning through digital platforms,” he said.
The DEFA will be officially launched during the 23rd Asean Economic Community Council meeting and recognition by Asean Leaders at the 23rd regional summit here next month.
Meanwhile, the Asean Tariff Finder was also launched on the sidelines of the AEM Meeting and Asean Business Advisory Council Consultation.
The online platform, tariff-finder.asean.org, supports traders in maximising Free Trade Agreement benefits and exploring markets across 160 countries. - Bernama