What is ASEAN Digital Integration?

As of January 2020, Only 16% of SMEs are looking at ASEAN Digital Integration and with the introduction of new startups within the region we are starting to see a flood of new business growth and marketing technologies never seen before.

This influx of new marketing technologies can be both bad and good for businesses newly entering their digital transformation stage, as it creates knowledge barriers that can hold back implementation speed but can also lead to bad consumer experience and a reduction in sales in both the short and long-term.

A lot of the main problems I see are from a lack of the basic fundamentals of what digital marketing integration and automation actually are.

How Marketing Automation Works

  • Driving targeted visitors to your website and products
  • ReMarketing to those people based on the preferences they showed on your website.
  • Automatically updating product stocks to ensure smooth customer experience,

With the rise of digital marketing in Southeast Asia comes the beauty of marketing automation!

When implemented correctly it helps once traditional businesses increase sales, cut costs and expand to rates never seen before within the ASEAN.

We are now in a time of growth, where governments in this region are focusing on an initiative called the ASEAN Digital Integration 2025

Have you ever seen the Flash? You know, that superfast guy, who can run faster than the speed of light…

asean digital integration flash

Now I want you to imagine a digital one?

Yes, that’s what ASEAN digital market is like.

The ASEAN region is the fastest growing internet/digital market in the world.

Research has found that almost 125,000 new users from ASEAN stumble upon the internet every single day.

Ever growing ASEAN Economy

According to a 2018 Google-Temasek e-Conomy SEA report, that more than 90 percent of South-east Asians are using mobile phones as a medium to connect with the digital arena of the ASEAN.

In the upcoming decade, according to one estimate, the ASEAN digital economy may add up to 1 trillion dollars in the regional ASEAN economy.

ASEAN $1 Trillion Economy Projections

Apart from this…

Recently, the WEF claimed to build and sustain the whole digital sphere of ASEAN to make it trustworthy and comprehensive.

World Economic Forum Digital ASEAN

The contribution of WEF is wide-reaching…

It helped to bring key stakeholders together for the execution of debates on critical issues, projects, and ideas.

Challenges of Integrating Digital in the ASEAN

Huge population

The ASEAN consists of 10-member nations including the Philippines, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Brunei, Indonesia, Singapore and Cambodia.

If we combine the population of all regions, we will get to know that the combined population of the ASEAN is bigger than that of both the European Union or North America.

ASEAN Plus 6 Digital Economy

And with its regional partnerships, forming the ASEAN +6… The future of the ASEAN block looks to challenge the biggest economies in the world.

Now, along with such a vast population, the responsibility to manage the ASEAN digital integration also gets gigantic, as you can well imagine.

In fact, it becomes harder to handle such a huge community when growth occurs at such a rapid speed.

Do you know why? Okay, listen!

Surprising Growth of Internet Users

Everyone has started to use the internet in the ASEAN. And you know what? That can be a disadvantage as well as an advantage.


I have both scenarios.

In 2018, a report showed that thousands of small and medium-sized enterprises were taking part in the ASEAN digital integration effort, in which 75% of business owners viewed this as an opportunity.

ASEAN Digital Integration Economy

And of course, as a digital native, and a business person myself, it is obvious.

The security of the ASEAN’s digital network is still weak a bit.


People from different nations don’t understand cybersecurity protocols properly.

Spending on cybersecurity ASEAN

As you know, hackers are everywhere. Nowadays, SMEs strive hard to be careful with cybersecurity and fraud payment issues.

Infrastructure for ASEAN Digital Sphere

With such rapid growth of internet users, there is a need for various types of hardware to ensure the internet operates efficiently.

asean digital infrastructure

Apart from the obvious things like getting people banked, and being able to take card payments the ASEAN has much more pressing issues to handle.


  • Fiber optic wires and cell towers,
  • Storage systems and computers.
  • Everything to spread digital influence across ASEAN.

That means a considerable amount of investment is waiting for these countries.

You may not be aware of the fact that internet maintenance is also necessary, and without it, all nations’ digital network may collapse.

Digital Democracy

You have seen that ASEAN needs a huge investment to set up the infrastructure for the digital sphere.

What’s the recovery of such an investment?

You might not be aware, but nations need to make a profit out of their investments.

And to make that happen, they need to democratize the whole digital sphere, getting everyone involved.

SMEs and ordinary citizens of the well-established states are using it. But still, there are a lot of people who aren’t pretty much interested in using the internet.

internet penetration asean

Once the ASEAN gain a massive audience on the internet, there will be more contribution to the GDP through digital sales via ecommerce.

One of the most exceptional business heads in ASEAN, Rama Sridhar, once said that the ASEAN’s GDP may boost by 1 trillion dollars by 2025.

Rama Sridhar ASEAN Digital Economy Projections

ASEAN Digital Integration – What To Expect?

After tons of hard work, we all expect something positive in return. Let’s see what ASEAN digital era brings to the nations.

Asean digital revolution

The ASEAN economy can rank as the 5th largest economy in the world by 2025, where a large proportion of credit goes to its digital integration initiative.

According to Forrester Retail Forecast…

ASEAN online retail value is expected to hit 53 billion dollars by 2023.

eCommerce platforms like Lazada and Carousell have made a high impact on the ASEAN digital online retail market.

With Apps becoming the norm for people shopping online.

asean mobile ecommerce apps

By 2023, the digital economy of the ASEAN will worth around 200 billion dollars alone.

At present, the prominent area of growth in the internet market consists of eCommerce, digital financial services, online travel, and digital entertainment.

financial services adoption asean region

Should Business Take Advantage?

Well, if you ask me?

I would say – “I am going to do everything in my power to do so because I won’t get such a golden opportunity again and again.

So what are you thinking now?

Are you going to establish another digital brand in ASEAN?

Or just going to wait for the magic?

asean digital gold rush

As you have seen, how rapidly the growth is taking place. Why don’t you be a part of that growth?

Grow together and reach on top of the world.