To showcase the potential of online sales, cross-border trade, digital entrepreneurship and market diversity within the region, the ASEAN Online Sale Day (AOSD) will be held for two weeks from August 8 this year.

For the past three years, the event, the largest online shopping event in Southeast Asia, organised by the ASEAN Coordinating Committee on E-commerce, has celebrated and promoted e-commerce within the region, said a statement by the ASEAN Secretariat recently.

The event also marks the 56th ASEAN Day and it will provide consumers in Cambodia and other countries in the region a chance to shop on the digital platform and obtain attractive discounts on various goods and services.

As AOSD leverages technology, the event highlights the importance of digital transformation for businesses and demonstrates the benefits of using e-commerce platforms, encouraging SMEs to embrace digital technologies to enhance their competitiveness and growth, the statement said.

Participating businesses get the chance to showcase the diversity and richness of the Asean market to a larger customer base, providing them with an opportunity to expand their cross-border sales. Exclusive deals are also offered on their products and services, encouraging consumers to explore a wide range of goods from the AMS.

According to the statement, AOSD is not only a platform for business transactions but also a catalyst for knowledge sharing and networking.  The event addresses challenges related to logistics, payment systems, customs procedures, and regulatory harmonisation. In doing so, AOSD fosters regional connectivity, creates a level playing field for businesses, and facilitates economic cooperation within the region.

As this year’s ASEAN Chair, Indonesia proposed to extend AOSD to two weeks – from August 8 to 22, a departure from the usual three-day affair.

In 2022, AOSD gathered nearly 342 businesses from all Member States. On offer were goods under several categories, including e-commerce, handicrafts, electronics, home appliances, furniture, fashion, services, tourism, and food and beverages.

The statement said that AOSD strengthens the Asean identity, fosters regional branding, and contributes to the development of a vibrant and interconnected digital economy in Southeast Asia.

The two main groups of AOSD 2023 activities are domestic e-commerce shopping and cross-border e-commerce shopping. “Through this programme, enterprises across AMS will have good opportunities to promote their domestic products/services to customers living in different economies across Asean,” said the website.

Cambodia-based digital economy expert Niraj Gupta, Director of Macro Computing Solutions Co Ltd, told Khmer Times yesterday that AOSD is a game-changer for e-commerce and cross-border trade in the region. This annual event facilitates hundreds of SMEs from Asean countries to showcase their diverse products, like food items, clothes, cosmetics, and more.

By fostering a unified platform, AOSD stimulates economic growth, promotes regional cooperation, and opens up new business opportunities, ultimately benefiting both sellers and consumers alike, he noted.

According to reports, Asean’s e-commerce sector is expected to triple in size from $100 billion to $300 billion by 2025.

It was 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. The total number of internet users in the region has grown to 440 million, up from 250 million in 2015.

By the end of this year, regional e-commerce is predicted to reach $113.90 billion before climbing to $175 billion by the end of 2027. Considering this optimistic outlook, Asean is on track to become a $1 trillion e-commerce economy by 2030.

In Cambodia, the e-commerce sector has registered consistent growth since 2020. The market value of e-commerce in Cambodia is estimated to have reached $1.11 billion in the last year, to hit $1.28 billion this year, $1.50 billion next year and $1.78 billion in 2025.