Legal and Regulatory Challenges in Facilitating a Sustainable ASEAN E-Commerce Sector

Legal and Regulatory Challenges in Facilitating a Sustainable ASEAN E-Commerce Sector

Lekha Kunju Pillai Laxman (Azman Hashim International Business School, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Malaysia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-4984-1.ch001
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The ASEAN region's potential ability to reap the benefits of e-commerce is considerable, and it is timely to strategize a sustainable pathway for ASEAN's e-commerce market. This chapter explores the arising legal and regulatory challenges with measures needed to facilitate e-commerce activities in the region. A qualitative research design is utilized to review secondary data and analyze ASEAN's current legal and regulatory framework. The findings reveal that despite the untapped potential of the collectively large “ASEAN market,” there are significant challenges to developing e-commerce in some countries. Moreover, there are additional regulatory challenges in tackling a myriad of issues related to cross-border challenges in terms of security and reliability of payments: logistics, customs and border administration, foreign market access, data protection, and the regulatory environment for national and cross-border e-commerce transactions. Some form of legal and regulatory harmonization is required between member nations in order to mutually reap the benefits of e-commerce.
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An Overview Of E-Commerce Development In The Asean Region

Both the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD 2011) and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD 2017a) have defined e-commerce as transactions utilizing computer networks for the purchase and sale of products (such as physical goods, and digital products or services). These e-commerce transactions generally utilize technologies such as internet and electronic data interchange over devices such as personal computers, tablets, and mobile phones. The definition of e-commerce in this chapter also includes mobile commerce (M-Commerce) consisting of the sale and purchase of goods and services using mobile (smart) phones. This is an important consideration in view of the growth in smart phone usage that is overtaking access to conventional computers/laptops (CCS, 2017).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Cross-Border E-Commerce: Transactions utilizing various technologies involving the selling and buying of goods and services across national borders using e-commerce.

Digital Technology: Entails the use of a variety of devices that enable access to cyberspace, the use of digital audio/video and information communications technology (ICT).

Harmonization: To bring into harmony, accord, or agreement the diverse laws of nations.

Privacy: A person’s right to control access to his or her personal information.

E-Commerce: Transactions that utilize various technologies through devises such as personal computers, tablets, and mobile phones in business-to-consumer (B2C), business-to-business (B2B), consumer-to-consumer (C2C) and business-to-government (B2G) for diverse activities on the electronic platform ranging from taking customer orders, processing payments, providing customer service and marketing related activities.

Sustainable Development: Development that requires attaining a delicate balance between the needs of the present and future by carefully utilizing natural resources and ecosystems for the wellbeing of the planet and all life forms.

Consumer Protection: Consumer protection are laws that aim to protect consumers from unfair practices in the marketplace ranging from improperly described or damaged to faulty or dangerous goods and services as well as from unfair trade and credit practices.

Data Protection: The process of safeguarding important information from misuse, corruption, compromise, or loss.

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