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Exports in ASEAN, the effects of growing digitalisation

Exports in ASEAN, the effects of growing digitalisation

In the region ofASEAN, the possibility of using an internet connection is growing rapidly, recording a constant flow of 125 thousand new users who access the internet daily. QThis positive trend offers important opportunities to companies interested in directing their exports to ASEAN, in how much the digital growth of the area can bring considerable benefits, given the expansion of markets and access to new customers.

In fact, it is expected that thedigital economy of ASEAN will contribute significantly to its growth, adding approximately $1 trillion to GDP over the next ten years

To best capture the potential of this growing trend, important policy measures and working frameworks have already been outlined, including theAEC Blueprint 2025, L'e-ASEAN Framework Agreement, and theASEAN Digital Masterplan 2025.

Exports to Asean


The main initiatives of the ASEAN area to enhance the digital future 

There are therefore various actions undertaken with the aim of strengthening the digital sector in the countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), among which we find Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Brunei, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, Malaysia and Philippines. These are precisely the nations that are rapidly emerging as a technological hub of global importance. 

The huge flow of investments from Chinese and American companies in the digital sector has produced active competition aimed at offering greater connectivity and advanced services. 

This is of fundamental importance for theexports to ASEAN, as the development and economic competitiveness of the region are promoted.

ASEAN Digital Masterplan 2025 (ADM2025)

ASEAN's digital plan, known as the ASEAN Digital Masterplan 2025 (ADM2025), adopted in 2021 in the context of the “Purajaya Declaration”, aims to achieve crucial goals such as post-pandemic economic recovery and strengthening digital infrastructure.

It represents not only an opportunity for technological innovation, but also a means to consolidate ASEAN unity and independence. 

However, the area faces the challenge of maintaining neutrality, considering the importance of Chinese, American and Japanese investments in regional digital infrastructure. The technology war between China and the United States has an impact on regional dynamics, especially regarding the implementation of the 5G network, where ASEAN countries have not yet reached a uniform position.

Furthermore, other nations such as Japan are intensifying cooperation with ASEAN in the digital sector. This collaboration, reflected in theASEAN-Japan ICT Work Plan, highlights the growing role of the ASEAN region as a global laboratory for digital innovation.

Then there are initiatives such as “ASEAN Seeds for the Future“, created in collaboration with Huawei, which aim to build an inclusive digital ecosystem, focusing efforts on the development of local ICT talent and participation in the digital society.

The renewal of this partnership highlights the area's commitment to sustainability, especially with regards to the growth of latest generation networks, thus offering new prospects and advantages for exports to Asean.

Exports to ASEAN, the opportunities of digitalisation

ASEAN already represents a key destination for digital exports and fertile ground for innovation, counting a population of over 650 million inhabitants. However, the area is a mosaic of ten nations, each with different regulations, languages and sizes. 

For Italian businesses keen to expand their businesses into ASEAN markets and capitalize on the region's growing digital potential, it is essential to carefully consider these complexities and adopt targeted strategies. These may include working with local partners and carefully monitoring the distribution of your products.

What are the steps to consider in a strategic plan that focuses on exports to ASEAN, considering its growing digitalisation?

  1. Identification of new market opportunities: knowledge of digitalisation initiatives in the ASEAN area allows Italian companies to identify sectors and market segments where they can find opportunities for expansion or collaboration. For example, the project ASEAN Smart Cities Network it could open up new business prospects in the smart city technology sector.
  2. Development of market penetration strategies: understanding the ASEAN digitalisation strategy allows Italian companies to develop targeted penetration strategies, adapting their products and services to the needs of this area.
  3. Collaborations and partnerships: Being informed about initiatives and projects underway in ASEAN helps Italian companies to identify opportunities for collaboration and partnerships with local companies and institutions. Opportunities for technological collaboration or investment may emerge with companies or institutions involved in digitalisation projects.
  4. Access to funding and resources: participating in ASEAN projects or initiatives could offer Italian companies access to financing or additional resources. Knowing how to participate can help Italian companies exploit these opportunities.

Understanding the ASEAN context and digitalisation initiatives therefore provides Italian entrepreneurs with a competitive advantage, seizing new business opportunities.

Digital Asean


The Vietnam case

The Vietnam, one of the leading export countries in ASEAN, is actively working to promote digital transformation at the national level, as well as benefiting from digitalisation initiatives across the region. 

L'Information and Communication Infrastructure Master Plan, outlined by the country's Ministry of Information and Communications, aims to transform Vietnam into a technology hub of regional significance by 2030. 

Through a series of initiatives, such as developing high-speed Internet networks, establishing green data centers and establishing specialized IT parks, Vietnam aims to not only boost its digital economy, but also emerge as a leader in cybersecurity in Asia.

The adoption of emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and cloud computing is encouraged, with the aim of integrating digital technology into every aspect of the country's economic and social life. 

Key objectives of the plan include ensuring internet coverage for the 99% population and the transition to IPv6 by 2025. 

The Vietnam It is therefore preparing the ground for significant expansion in the technology and digital sector, positioning itself to compete globally and support its economic growth and innovation.

Octagona is the ideal partner to support you in your growth journey and in the discovery of digital opportunities of this region. With ours internationalization consultancy, we identify the best strategies forexports to ASEAN, optimizing your growth potential on the markets. Contact us now to get more information



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