According to a recent analysis by Google, Temasek Holdings, and Bain & Company, over 75% of the inhabitants in 6 key Southeast Asian nations have internet access, and the bulk of them have bought internet services at least once. As per the survey, as many as 40 million individuals in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, as well as Thailand joined the internet for the first time this year. According to the research, this increased the number of internet users in those 6 nations to over 440 million, with 80% making at least one online transaction.
The research does not include all populations of Southeast Asian nations, excluding ASEAN members Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, and Myanmar, as well as East Timor and Papua New Guinea. The coronavirus pandemic accelerated the growth of online businesses such as food delivery services and internet payments. As per the study, which is in its 6th year, over 60 million individuals in the area accessed online services for the first time as a result of COVID-19, with 20 million of them doing so in the first half of 2021. Most internet industries in Southeast Asia have proven impervious to the pandemic’s negative effects, despite months of strict lockdown precautions.
Governments have been gradually relaxing regulations this year to revive their economies as the number of individuals vaccinated for COVID continues to climb. According to the analysis, the internet industry in those 6 Southeast Asian nations may achieve USD 174 billion in Gross Merchandising Value (GMV) in 2021, a 49% increase from the previous year, with e-commerce providing the majority of development. GMV is a popular statistic in e-commerce that represents the total dollar value of items sold over a given period. Along with e-commerce, the region’s digital finance sector is expanding as payment systems and e-wallets become more common, as per the research.
The gross transactional amount for electronic payments in those 6 nations is expected to reach USD 707 billion this year, up 9% from the previous year. As per Stephanie Davis, Google’s vice president for Southeast Asia, e-commerce will continue to be a dominant part of the internet economy until 2025 and beyond. “But we’re seeing significant growth across the board,” Davis said on CNBC’s “Street Signs Asia” on Wednesday. “We anticipate transportation to make a comeback, and we believe food delivery will stay strong in the region.” She noted that the subdued travel market, which suffered as a result of the pandemic, will begin to recover next year and will return to substantial growth levels by 2025.