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Singapore to focus on digital economy, trade facilitation as Asean chair in 2018

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Mr Lim (left) with AmCham chairman Dwight Hutchins. Mr Lim outlined two areas of priority - e-commerce and the digital economy; and improving trade facilitation - at the AmCham launch event of the 2018 Asean Business Outlook Survey on Tuesday.

SINGAPORE will pursue a set of tangible deliverables that aim to deepen regional connectivity, and position Asean as a region for seamless economic activity as the Republic take on Asean chairmanship in 2018.

Minister for Trade and Industry (Trade) Lim Hng Kiang outlined two areas of priority - e-commerce and the digital economy; and improving trade facilitation - at the launch event of 2018 Asean Business Outlook Survey on Tuesday by the US Chamber of Commerce and the American Chamber of Commerce in Singapore.

Mr Lim said: "Singapore will work with the Asean member states to streamline regional trade rules governing e-commerce to promote greater digital connectivity, and help companies more easily access new markets and overseas customers."

To improve trade facilitation, Mr Lim said that Singapore will work closely with the rest of Asean to realise an Asean-wide Self-Certification regime and the Asean Single Window to facilitate the smooth movement of goods within Asean.

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"This will help companies enjoy lower compliance and time-to-market costs," said Mr Lim.

The survey, which polled 317 senior executives representing US companies in all 10 Asean countries, found that US companies are optimistic about the growth outlook and investment opportunities in Asean as businesses see solid growth in domestic consumption.