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 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.
2022 Fellowship Program

Standards Australia is facilitating a Fellowship Program to connect emerging digital trade professionals in ASEAN with established mentors. By doing so, we seek to facilitate enhanced knowledge sharing and the use of international standards to further develop the potential of digital trade opportunities within the region.

Building on the last three years of the ASEAN-Australia Digital Trade Standards (ASEAN-AU DTS ) Initiative, the Fellowship Program will align leading experts in international standardisation with emerging professionals in the digital trade space across ASEAN. Through the program, mentors and participants will have the opportunity to become key facilitators of digital trade action plans within the region. Mentors and fellows will have hands on support from Standards Australia throughout the program as they develop standardisation action plans to unlock a digital trade opportunity in ASEAN through standards. Along with this project, mentors and fellows will engage in a series of upskilling workshops and attend an in-person showcase event to promote their work as changemakers in the regional digital trade standards framework.

The Fellowship Program supported the Fellow cohort to develop Action Plans to realise a digital trade standards opportunity and delivered the following workshops:
Topic Date Materials
Fellowship Guidance 30 August 2022 Download
Introductory Session 14 October 2022 Agenda, Presentation
Standards Bootcamp 28 October 2022 Agenda, Presentation
JTC1 Plenary Briefing Session 10 November 2022 Presentation
Professional Upskilling - Digital Trade 17 January 2023 Agenda, Presentation
Inclusivity in Digital Trade 31 January 2023 Agenda, Presentation
Personal Brand Workshop    
In-Person Showcase    

Applications for the Fellowship Program are open until August 30th 2022, you can apply here.

Guidance for National Standards Bodies Download
Guidance for Fellows Download
Guidance for Mentors Download

2021 Work Program

Standards Australia lead 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 engaged and trained 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 focused on three key components of: i) standards development; ii) stakeholder engagement; and iii) international participation.  
Workshops in 2021 included:
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