DTI chief joins Asean ministers in signing e-commerce agreement

Senior officials from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) convened on Monday, November 12, to sign the agreement on electronic commerce (e-commerce) in Singapore.

Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) secretary Ramon Lopez represented the Philippines in the event held at the at the Suntec Convention and Exhibition Center.

Lopez noted two major benefits from the e-commerce agreement: “It has elements that provide protection and safeguards to consumers to build trust and confidence in e-commerce. Likewise, it facilitates more MSME access to the Asean market.”

“Asean is on the drawing board to ‘future-proof’ the regional economy,” said Lopez.

The agreement, which further promotes innovation in e-commerce across the Southeast Asian region, is considered important due to the high demand in Internet connectivity and increased usage of smartphones.

Likewise, the necessity of Internet access as a way of paying goods and services, as well as in starting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), are seen as contributors in the escalation of e-commerce in the Southeast Asian region.

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