Southeast Asia internet economy to hit $1.35 trillion by 2030, report says

Traffic moves on a road past advertisements of Indian online marketplace Amazon, in Mumbai, India, on Oct 15, 2015. 
PHOTO: Reuters file

SINGAPORE - Southeast Asia's internet economy is forecast to reach US$1 trillion (S$1.35 trillion) by 2030, as tens of millions more people take up online shopping and embrace food delivery, an industry report said on Thursday (Nov 11).

The report, by Alphabet's Google, Singapore state investor Temasek Holdings and global business consultants Bain & Company, said the region had added 60 million new internet users since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, taking the total to 440 million.

The region of 11 countries is one of the world's fastest-growing internet markets, due to a young population, rapid smartphone usage and urbanisation, and a burgeoning middle class.

The online industry for Southeast Asia is expected to grow from an estimated US$174 billion in gross merchandise volume (GMV) by end-2021 to US$360 billion by 2025, and US$1 trillion by 2030, driven primarily by growth in e-commerce and food delivery, as consumers stuck at home turned to the internet.

The report, which covers Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, and the Philippines, found that e-commerce GMV is expected to nearly double to US$120 billion by the end of the year and reach US$234 billion by 2025.

All countries covered experienced double-digit growth in 2021, with Indonesia alone, the region's most populous nation, contributing 40 per cent of Southeast Asia's total GMV at US$70 billion.

The Philippines saw 93 per cent growth, becoming a US$17 billion digital economy.

"GMV (for Southeast Asia) has increased 49 per cent year-on-year, as seismic consumer and ecosystem shifts accelerated by Covid-19, continue to drive a massive digital adoption spurt," said Florian Hoppe, Bain's Asia-Pacific Head of Digital Practice.

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