KUALA LUMPUR – Deloitte today released the Technology-empowered Digital Trade in Asia Pacific report, highlighting the latest trends on cross-border trade in the region as it moves towards a more digitalised, greener, and more sustainable future, where small and micro businesses play a vital role.
Based on a survey conducted with businesses engaging in cross-border trade in the region, the report anticipates that digital trade is set to further accelerate on the back of dynamic cross-border e-commerce activities, rapid shifts towards a digital lifestyle by consumers, ongoing development of digital infrastructure and strengthening of regional cooperation led by RCEP.
The region is expected to enter a golden age for digital trade over the next three years.
In 2021, the total size of Malaysia’s e-commerce market stood at USD6.297 billion, representing 61.4% of the e-commerce market size in China and ranking among developing markets after Indonesia and Thailand. E-commerce users are also expected to increase in line with continuous digitalisation penetration and increased network users.
Malaysia also has the highest penetration rate for sales digitalisation for cross-border e-commerce, standing at 65.7%. However, overall cross-border e-commerce in the country has been limited by factors such as cross-border logistics infrastructure and technical operations, impacting its development significantly.
At present, cross-border consumption only accounts for 42% of the market size of the internet economy in Malaysia, which is much lower compared to mature markets among RCEP members.
“The COVID-19, the development of digital technologies and enhanced regional cooperation are accelerating the formation of digital trade in the Asia Pacific region. Digital trade is presented with brand-new development opportunities,” said Taylor Lam, Vice Chair and Technology, Media & Telecommunications Industry Leader at Deloitte China.
“In addition, the RCEP will promote regional cooperation, and facilitate regional digital trade.”
“Digital technologies enable global sellers to participate in global trade without any entry barriers,” said Gary Wu, Deloitte Global Lead Client Service Partner.
“The continuous improvement of digital infrastructure will effectively resolve the two major constraints affecting cross-border trade: logistics and payments. Blockchain technology is also creating a new space of imagination for digital trade.”