By Rachel Lee
The ASEAN-Korea Centre will organize an e-commerce workshop for Greater Mekong Subregional (GMS) countries ― Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam ― in Seoul from Tuesday to Thursday.
The "Capacity Building Workshop for Greater Mekong Subregional (GMS) Cross-border E-commerce" aims to share Korea's development experience and expertise in the e-commerce industry. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is a co-host. Public and private stakeholders from the GMS countries will attend.
"As ASEAN has placed great emphasis on transforming itself into a digital bloc, bridging the digital gap among its member states is becoming one of the challenges for greater economic integration," said ASEAN-Korea Centre Secretary General Kim Young-sun.
"Although the GMS countries have great potential considering their increasing purchasing power, growing internet penetration and young middle class, the sub-region's e-commerce industry is still yet to develop."
He said this was because of an immature e-payments systems, lack of logistics efficiency and absence of harmonized legal frameworks.
At an opening ceremony on Tuesday, the secretary general and Myanmar's Ambassador, Thura U Thet Oo Maung, are expected to speak.
In the following days, representatives from Amazon and Barterfli will give lectures on such topics as "Overview of E-commerce in Asia-Pacific," "Market Trends, Business Model and Consumer Behavior of Korea's E-commerce Industry," and "Technical Barriers and Enabling Environment for E-commerce."
Participants will also visit the Korea International Trade Association (KITA) and local logistics giant E-Mart to learn about good practices in online platforms and logistics.
"I hope this workshop will support the capacity building of the GMS countries and facilitate regional cross-border trade, thus contributing to narrowing the digital gap within ASEAN and paving the way for further cooperation between Korea and the GMS countries," the secretary general said.
The ASEAN-Korea Centre has organized work programs with the GMS countries with the aim of helping businesses to benefit from this promising market, which has shown 5-8 percent of growth rate, as well as helping to narrow the development gap within the region.
In October, the fifth ROK-Mekong Business Forum will be held in Vientiane, Laos, to which the organization will send a business delegation from the tourism, franchise, agriculture, and renewable energy sectors to conduct one-one-one business meetings and visit sites.
In addition, the "Capacity Building Program on Cultural Heritage" will take place in Luang Prabang to promote sustainable tourism development .