A curation of the latest news in eCommerce, logistics, and tech in Southeast Asia and beyond.
As we reach the end of June, greater calls for regional cooperation arise, eCommerce giants Lazada and Shopee compete on live-streaming feature, and Chinese consumers shift towards domestic products.
The 34th ASEAN Summit 1between eight Southeast Asian leaders comes as the US-China Trade War continues to escalate, with Singapore’s Prime Minister Mr Lee proposing that ASEAN find common ground to stand together amidst rising tensions between the US and China.
During the summit, Mr Lee noted that ASEAN has made ‘substantial progress’ in eliminating tariffs, liberalising investments, streamlining regulations and promoting connectivity. Mr Lee urged for a ‘renewed push’ for the conclusion of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), a pact aimed at improving the accessibility and portability of data across borders. The pact would involve ASEAN, China, Japan, South Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand to form the world’s largest trading bloc and a third of global GDP.
In other regional partnerships, the Malaysia-China Kuantan Industrial Park (MCKIP), one-half of the Malaysia-China Twin Parks project, is picking up steam and is expected to attract almost 20 billion ringgit (US$4.8 billion) in investments2. Observers believe that the pickup in investor confidence is a sign of strengthening economic ties after the stalled East Coast Rail Link project resumed progress in April, and will bring much-needed foreign direct investment to Malaysia’s east coast.
Live-streaming on eCommerce platforms in Asia Pacific is set to grow bigger as rivals Lazada and Shopee continue investing heavily in this feature on their apps3. On June 6, Shopee launched its Great Shopee Sale where it unveiled its live-streaming feature called Shopee LIVE in Singapore. Like Lazada’s live streaming feature which was launched December last year, users are able to chat with sellers, learn about products, and ask questions in real-time before buying them without leaving the app.
In other eCommerce news, consumers in China have shifted to buying more goods from domestic brands rather than foreign brands in the country’s annual midyear online shopping festival, the 618 Festival4. With Chinese brands catching up in terms of product quality and service, increasing demand for domestic goods has replaced the appeal of imported goods over the past years that was driven by rising income in China.
This could help Beijing’s move to shift the economy to domestic consumption-driven growth to counter falling exports and the country’s biggest economic slowdown in nearly three decades, compounded by the trade war with the US. It would also support the nation’s drive to build up indigenous brands, products, and services that will reduce its reliance on Western imports.
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On 12 Nov 2021, multiple hs codes for apparel in chapters 61 and 62 will incur additional import duties under Indonesia's BMTP initiative.
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