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08.01.21 - 14.01.21 Sup SEAkers!


Vietnam’s ecommerce growth rate is on the up and up, pegged at a staggering 46%, according to the latest e-Conomy report from Google, Temasek, and Bain & Company.




This Week's News Spotlight:

ASEAN becomes China’s largest trading partner in 2020 | Brunei proposes 10 economic priorities as ASEAN chair | Brunei proposes 10 economic priorities as ASEAN chair | Vietnam to exceed 6% growth target for 2021: Analysts | ASEAN-Hong Kong FTA set for Feb 12



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ASEAN becomes China’s largest trading partner in 2020 - Global Times

Room for regional development will likely continue into 2021, said experts.



ASEAN has become China’s largest trading partner in 2020, with trade volumes hitting USD 731.9 billion, a 7 percent year-on-year growth. This is the first time ASEAN is China’s largest trading partner, and the twelfth year in a row that China is ASEAN’s largest trading partner.


China’s top five trading partners are ASEAN, the EU, the US, Japan, and South Korea.




ASEAN’s e-commerce war rages on, with Alibaba and Shopee going head-to-head in Vietnam - Nikkei Asia

Shopee is Vietnam’s most-visited e-commerce site.



Sea-owned Shopee is taking over in Vietnam, with local consumers choosing the e-commerce platform over other competitors. Shopee was also the most visited site in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam in the third quarter of 2020.


On the other hand, Alibaba-backed Lazada is making strides to clash with Shopee for the lucrative Southeast Asian e-commerce market by partnering with Grab in Vietnam.


Brunei proposes 10 economic priorities as ASEAN chair - The Star

The meeting marked the first of SEOM meetings to be chaired by the Sultanate as the 2021 Chair of ASEAN.



At the ASEAN Senior Economic Officials Meeting Retreat 2021, Brunei has proposed ten economic deliverables under the ASEAN Economic Community Pillar. The proposed deliverables are divided into three categories: recovery, digitalisation, and sustainability.


Under the ‘recovery’ thrust, the proposal aims to ensure the region’s recovery post-Covid-19 by focusing on non-tariff measures and facilitating investments in the region. For digitalisation, the deliverables center on leveraging new technologies to improve the e-commerce environment and digital ecosystem within the region. Lastly, the sustainability category aims to advance inclusive and sustainable economic growth.




Vietnam to exceed 6% growth target for 2021: Analysts - Business Times

While analysts are optimistic about Vietnam’s growth, it will be contingent on Covid-19 containment.



Vietnam’s outlook in 2021 is promising, said analysts, who forecast that the country will exceed its current growth target of 6 percent. This optimism is bolstered by new trade agreements and global economic recovery. In the fourth quarter of 2020, Vietnam’s GDP growth accelerated to 4.48 percent year-on-year, compared to 2.69 percent in the third quarter of the same year.




ASEAN-Hong Kong FTA set for Feb 12 - Phnom Penh Post

“We hope that these agreements will enable Cambodia to capture some of the export market in Hong Kong,” said Pen Sovicheat, undersecretary of state at the Cambodian Ministry of Commerce.



Cambodia’s portion of the ASEAN-Hong Kong free trade agreement and investment agreement is set to take effect on February 12. Cambodia will be the last country in which the two agreements start taking hold, after Indonesia on July 4 and Brunei on October 20.


Cambodia will progressively reduce and eliminate customs duties on goods from Hong Kong, covering different kinds of commodities like jewellery, apparel, watches, and clocks.














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