3-day Asean online shopping fest kicks off

The three-day Asean Online Sale Day (AOSD) began yesterday with the participation of nearly 500 businesses, marking the 55th Asean Day.

Organised by the Asean Coordinating Committee on E-commerce (ACCEC) from August 8 to 10, the annual online shopping event brings together the best of Asean businesses, goods and services across the region on a single platform.

Consumer goods, electronics, food and beverages, cosmetics and beauty products and tourism and travel packages are made available on the e-platform along with several other products and services as part of the event. Special discounts are also offered, said a release.

The AOSD, which started in 2020, is meant to encourage regional digital trade and enhance stronger collaboration between stakeholders, including government agencies, the private sector, business associations and consumers, to explore new policy initiatives and to advance innovative technologies in the promotion of cross-border e-commerce activities.

The two main groups of AOSD 2022 activities are domestic e-commerce shopping and cross-border e-commerce shopping.

Asean’s e-commerce sector is expected to triple in size from $100 billion to $300 billion by 2025. The Covid-19 pandemic has further boosted this trend of e-commerce adoption, the release noted.

It is estimated that in Southeast Asia, 40 million people came online for the first time in 2021 alone, bringing the internet penetration in the region to 75 percent. Consumption of digital services has remained strong more than a year into the pandemic – a trend that will likely continue. The total number of internet users in the region has grown to 440 million, up from 250 million in 2015.

This year, AOSD hopes to further accelerate these trends and encourage consumers and businesses to engage in e-commerce across the region. The initiative also serves to reinforce and position the role of e-commerce and digital integration as a key driver of Asean’s economic growth. It complements ongoing Asean member states’ efforts to encourage digitalization among businesses.

In 2020, more than 200 e-commerce businesses in Asean participated in AOSD and offered a large range of goods and services at promotional or discounted rates through their e-commerce platforms. The event continued to grow in 2021, with the participation of more than 350 businesses, the release said.