The future runs through Southeast Asia, especially if women-owned businesses are given the chance to succeed.
There has never been a better time for small businesses to go global. The internet – with the ability to connect communities all around the world – has transformed the way people communicate, buy, sell, market and do business.
Today, at the click of a button, small businesses anywhere can reach new customers without the capital investment previously needed to establish and sell to foreign markets. The opportunity is no greater than in Southeast Asia, where e-commerce sales are expected to reach $22 billion by 2020 and $88 billion by 2025.
UPS commends the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) for recognizing e-commerce as a critical cornerstone for achieving the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), establishing the world’s first comprehensive e-commerce agreement. This puts in place the critical building blocks for addressing the emerging issues in the new digital economy.
Securing future success
The agreement is an important step in securing the seamless and superior cross-border customer experience that will facilitate the continued success and growth of e-commerce.
At the same time, UPS recognizes that we also play a role in securing this success. Our global network – of more than 450,000 people – works every day with small businesses to help turn possibilities into winning opportunities.
We are proud of our partnership to help find new markets and navigate the rules of international trade, fulfilling businesses’ promises to their customers.
The importance of women-owned businesses
According to the International Trade Centre, there are close to 10 million women-owned small businesses, and four out of five online sellers are women. Women-owned businesses that export pay their employees one and a half times more, employ an average of 42 people and are three and a half times more productive than those that do not export.
Further, McKinsey estimates the participation of women in the economy can contribute $28 trillion to global GDP by 2025 – the equivalent of adding a new United States and China.
“The participation of women in the economy can contribute $28 trillion to global GDP by 2025.”
The small businesses and entrepreneurs are a tribute to the important contribution of ASEAN women to the digital economy.
Celebrating hopes and dreams
UPS is a proud partner with the Global Innovation Forum on this special report – New Faces of Trade: ASEAN Women in E-Commerce – to highlight the amazing spirit of entrepreneurship in the Asia Pacific and put faces on the dramatic shift in global trade.
The small businesses and entrepreneurs profiled in this report are examples of new opportunities, as well as a tribute to the important contribution of ASEAN women to the digital economy.
I hope you will find inspiration in their stories and join us in celebrating their hopes and dreams, which will fuel greater prosperity around the world for years to come.
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