Digital trade presents a new wave of opportunity for Australia and ASEAN Member States (AMS) alike. It has the far-reaching potential to touch all aspects of the global economy, from agriculture to manufacturing, telecommunications, and service-based industries.

As trade transitions towards cross-border data flows and services trade, our economies need to be prepared. It is critical for governments and industries to align in adopting new digital technologies, ensuring interoperability and open data flows, and minimising border frictions. International Standards can help with this shift.

ASEAN-Australia Digital Trade Standards Initiative

The ASEAN-Australia Digital Trade Standards Initiative was first announced at the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit held in Sydney in March 2018. The Special Summit was the first time Australia had hosted ASEAN leaders as a group, marking a new era in the ASEAN-Australia strategic partnership.
The then Australian Prime Minister, the Hon. Malcolm Turnbull, announced the initiative at the Special Summit alongside 14 other initiatives, all aimed at expanding bilateral political and economic linkages between ASEAN and Australia and strengthening regional security and prosperity.
This initiative seeks to raise awareness on the role of international standards and address the key factors which enable and inhibit digital trade across ASEAN and Australia.
2021 Work Program

Standards Australia is leading a set of workshops through 2021 in collaboration with ASEAN National Standards Bodies (NSBs) and their stakeholders to progress the work achieved to date.
These workshops will engage and train AMS and ASEAN sub-fora on increased engagement in international standardisation related to key digital trade areas (and as a means for progressing NSBs’ work in driving the adoption and use of digital trade standards in AMS). In line with internationally agreed good standardisation practice, the progress and coordination workshops will focus on three key components of: i) standards development; ii) stakeholder engagement; and iii) international participation.  
Workshops this year include:
Workshop Topic Date Workshop Materials
Senior Management Masterclass 31 March 2021 AgendaPresentations
A Deeper Dive into DTS 23 June 2021 Agenda, Presentations
Effective DTS Mirror Committees 15 September 2021 Agenda, Presentations
DTS Distribution and Outreach 15 December 2021 Agenda, Presentations

More information on the full work program of the initiative can be found here.
Past activities include:

Year 1 - 2018  
Year 2 - 2019
  • June 2019: Workshop 1, Singapore (Report)
  • September 2019: Workshop 2, Phnom Penh (Report)
  • November 2019: Workshop 3, Jakarta (Report)



Abbey Dorian

International Engagement Manager