SINGAPORE: Ahead of it taking over the chairmanship of the Association of South-east Asian Nations (ASEAN) next year, Singapore has said it plans to focus on developing the regional digital economy and improving trade facilitation.
Speaking at the ASEAN Conference 2017, Trade and Industry (Trade) Minister Lim Hng Kiang said there is interest among member states in developing their e-commerce capabilities to tap on emerging opportunities.
“Going forward, we will look into streamlining regional trade rules governing e-commerce that will promote greater digital connectivity in the region and lower operating barriers to entry. We will also ensure that these are incorporated into our current regime and new trade agreements,” he said.
On trade facilitation, Mr Lim said Singapore intends to work closely with other member states to implement the self-certification regime and the ASEAN Single Window.
The self-certification scheme will allow authorised exporters self-certify that their goods meet ASEAN’s requirements for preferential treatment, while the ASEAN Single Window helps to expedite customs clearance via the electronic exchange of information across borders.
Mr Lim said this will facilitate seamless movement of goods within ASEAN, allowing businesses to enjoy lower administrative and time-to-market costs.
He called for feedback from the private sector to ensure that Singapore’s priorities remain relevant to businesses.