Propelled by a fast-growing base of digital consumers and merchants, acceleration in e-commerce and food delivery is expected to propel the Southeast Asia internet economy forward in the next decade. In a strong lead-up to 2030, e-commerce gross merchandise value (GMV) could exceed US$120 billion by end 2021 (a near doubling from 2020) with the potential to reach US$234 billion by 2025.
The e-Conomy SEA report, by Alphabet’s Google, Singapore state investor Temasek Holdings and global business consultants Bain & Company, states that Southeast Asia is entering its ‘digital decade’ as the internet increasingly becomes an integral part of consumers’ daily lives.
The annual report discusses the internet economy in the region, covering Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, revealing trends across five leading sectors e-commerce, online media, transport & food, online travel and digital financial services and two nascent sectors – health-tech and ed-tech.
The internet economies of all six countries will continue to grow rapidly. For example, Indonesia could potentially be twice as much as Southeast Asia’s GMV today, by 2030, while Vietnam could grow to become a US$220 billion digital economy.
While talent continues to be an unresolved challenge, a set of emerging enablers that require multilateral solutions between consumers, merchants, platforms, and regulators will drive the growth of Southeast Asia’s digital economy. These enablers include a commitment to sustainability, robust and business-friendly data regulation, data infrastructure to support larger and more frequent data flows, as well as an equitable system to protect gig workers and consumer interests while spurring innovation.
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