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ASEAN-Australia Digital Trade

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.

2023 Fellowship Program

Building on the last four years of the ASEAN-Australia Digital Trade Standards (ASEAN-AU DTS) Initiative, Standards Australia will be facilitating the 2023 Fellowship Program. The Fellowship Program will align leading experts and emerging professionals in standardisation and digital trade across ASEAN. Through the program, fellows and mentors will have the opportunity to develop an action plan to unlock digital trade standards opportunities within the region.  

The Fellowship seeks to facilitate enhanced knowledge sharing and the use of international standards to further develop the potential of digital trade opportunities within the region.

Fellows will develop an action plan for a digital trade standard initiative within the region. These standard action plans will focus on a specific aspect of digital trade such as digital logistics, digital transactions, e-commerce and e-invoicing.

Mentors will provide ongoing guidance and support to fellows as they develop their action plan.

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.

Find out more information on the program: DTS Fellowship Guidance Document
Applications for the Fellowship Program are open until 7th August 2023, you can apply here.

2022 Fellowship Program

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

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
Workshop Materials
Senior Management Masterclass
31 March 2021
A Deeper Dive into DTS
23 June 2021
Effective DTS Mirror Committees
15 September 2021
DTS Distribution and Outreach
15 December 2021

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)
Summer Lamont
International Engagement Manager