Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)
The ASEAN nations are – Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
Many of them have active work in CBDCs especially Singapore and Thailand. Cambodia has implemented Bakong which has many CBDC elements.
Malaysia (400 billion GDP) is interested in the CBDC space.
Singapore and Brunei have a trade agreement which pegs the Brunei dollar.
Singapore and Thailand have piloted digital cross-border payments.
The Philippines is active researching CBDCs.
Maynmar had a military takeover in February 2021 and the World Bank suspended disbursements. It is not very clear how that country will progress.
A paper outlines some of the key matters for ASEAN CBDCs. The ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) is referenced and AMS – ASEAN member states. There is a lot of emphasis on cross-border payments. AFIN is the ASEAN Financial Innovation Network.
The ASEAN GDP is 3.08 trillion USD for a population of 661 million.
CBDCs especially offer to improve financial inclusion. The World Bank has published a report about Digital Financial Inclusion (DFI) and Digital Financial Services (DFS).
The World Bank reports how 50% lacked a bank account in 2019 in ASEAN.
Hence there is much work to do especially in Indonesia.
Cross-border trade is in the modern time important due to globalization. ASEAN signed the RCEP trade agreement which further strengthens their economic position.
“The signing of the RCEP Agreement is a historic event as it underpins ASEAN’s role in leading a multilateral trade agreement of this magnitude, despite global and regional challenges and eight years of negotiations,” said Dato Lim Jock Hoi, Secretary-General of ASEAN
There is an ASEAN Digital Masterplan (ADM) 2025.
“First it means a society in which everyone in
ASEAN is using digital services to enhance their
daily lives – to interact with friends and family they
cannot meet; to entertain themselves; to buy and
sell things; to manage their money; to make better
decisions; and in many cases to receive a better education and better healthcare through digital services.” ADM