Central Asian Governments and Private Sector E-Commerce Study Tour to Malaysia and Singapore

From 15 – 20 May 2023, twenty-seven (27) government officials and private sector representatives from 5 Central Asian countries, namely Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan gathered in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore for the Central Asian Governments and Private Sector E-commerce Study Tour. The study tour was jointly organized by the Asian Development Bank under the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) Program, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Future Growth Initiative and the USAID Trade Central Asia, and the United States Department of Commerce Commercial Law Development Program. The activity is a follow-up to the CAREC-USAID webinar seriesToward a Central Asian E-Commerce Market held in May 2022 and implemented as part of the CAREC Integrated Trade Agenda 2030. The study tour underscored the importance of long-term strategy, enabling policies which incorporate international standards and best practices, and strong public-private engagement to expand e-commerce and digital trade.

ADB’s Gary Krishnan, Senior Country Specialist, Southeast Asia Department acknowledged the strong partnership with the Malaysian Government under ADB supported subregional programs such as the Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) and the Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth Triangle (IMT-GT) and how the experience from Malaysia can benefit Central Asian countries. The presentation of Martin Lemoine, Officer-in-Charge of the ADB’s Singapore Office on private sector operations generated interest from the participants particularly how ADB can support finance and agribusiness in Central Asia. Jong Woo Kang, Officer-in-Charge of the Regional Cooperation and Integration Division, Economic Research and Regional Cooperation Department presented the preliminary findings of the ongoing study on E-Commerce Evolution in Asia and the Pacific: Opportunities and Challenges, highlighting renewed efforts to assess the environmental impact of e-commerce, competition policies tailored to fast-changing digital transactions, and taxation related issues.

Supported under KSTA 9712: Implementing the Integrated Trade Agenda in the CAREC Program, co-funded by the Regional Cooperation and Integration Fund and the PRC Poverty Reduction and Regional Cooperation Fund (PRCF)

and KSTA 6602: Supporting Startup Ecosystems in the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation Region to Mitigate Impact of COVID-19 and Support Economic Revival.

Key Documents



Monday, May 15: Digital Trade Program at Intercontinental Hotel in Kuala Lumpur

  • Empowering Malaysia’s Digital Transformation by MyDigital Corporation (English, Russian)
  • Enhancing the Economic Competitiveness of Malaysia through Digitalization—Approaches via Entrepreneurship, Investment, and Internationalization by Ministry of International Trade and Industry (English, Russian)
  • National E-Commerce Strategic Roadmap—The Whole of Nation Approach in Driving E-Commerce by Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (English, Russian)
  • Cross-border E-Commerce Trade: Facilitations to Foster Internationalization of SME via E-Commerce Exports by Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (English)
  • National Investment Policy: Attracting Investment in Digital Ecosystem by Malaysian Investment Development Authority (English, Russian)
  • The Asia Foundation: Improving Lives, Expanding Opportunities (English, Russian)
  • The Technodom Group (English, Russian)
  • Ninja Van

Tuesday, May 16, 2023: Site Visits in Kuala Lumpur

  • Standard Chartered Bank
  • Axiata Cyber Fusion Centre
  • Shopee Malaysia

Wednesday, May 17, 2023: AM Site Visits in Kuala Lumpur | PM Fly to Singapore

Thursday, May 18, 2023: Digital Trade Program at Holiday Inn Singapore Orchard City Centre

  • ADB’s Private Sector Operations (English)
  • E-Commerce Evolution in Asia and the Pacific: Opportunities and Challenges by ADB (English, Russian)
  • Economic Impact of Adopting Digital Trade Rules by Access Partnership (English)
  • Insights from Industry: Enhancing Domestic and Cross-border Payment Ecosystem to Drive Digital Development by Stripe, Mastercard, and Wise
  • Market Access Assistance and Internationalization Programs by Enterprise Singapore
  • Using Trade Agreements to Foster Digital Trade by ADB and Singapore Business Federation
  • Digital Trade: Progress to-date and Opportunities Ahead by the ICC Digital Standards Initiative (English)

Friday, May 19, 2023: Site Visits in Singapore

  • JTB Singapore (English)
  • YCH Logistics

Saturday, May 20, 2023: Digital Trade Program and Expert Meeting at Holiday Inn in Singapore

  • Recap of the Study Tour
  • US-Central Asia Regional Digital Trade Working Group Meeting (English, Russian)
  • Toward a Central Asian E-Commerce Roadmap—Ideas to Kickstart Conversation (English)