TFT Project in South-East Asia

Leapfrogging skills development in e-commerce in South-East Asia in the Framework of the 2030 Development Agenda

Leapfrogging skills development in e-commerce in South-East Asia in the Framework of the 2030 Development Agenda


Leapfrogging skills development in e-commerce in South-East Asia in the Framework of the 2030 Development Agenda

UNCTAD project in collaboration with UNCITRAL and UNESCAP  with special partners World Bank, WEF, and NGOs with a focus on Indonesia, the Philippines and Singapore.
Project Code: 1819N, Tranche 11



  • Invitation of relevant stakeholders in “one venue”
  • Development of the blended learning courses on Digital Identity for Trade and Development
  • Update and adaptation to the region of the blended learning course on e-commerce best practices
  • on-line workshop on e-commerce best practice


  • On-line workshop on Digital Identity for Trade and Development
  • E-commerce Best Practice follow-up workshop
  • Digital Identity for Trade and Development follow-up workshop


  • Produce publication on e-commerce best practices
  • Produce publication on Digital Identity for Trade and Development
  • Webinar for the launch of the publication


12 April – 21 MayOn-line course on eCommerce Best PracticesWith UNESCAP
24-28 MayFollow-up webinar eCommerce Best PracticesWith UNESCAP
1 May-30 MayDevelopment of a course element on Digital Trade Agreements under the Digital Identity for Trade and DevelopmentWith Singapore Consultant
30 May – 2 JulyOn-line delivery course on Digital Identity for Trade and DevelopmentWith UNESCAP, UNCITRAL and WB
2 JulyPolicy brief on Digital Identity for Trade and Development
5-9 JulyFollow-up webinar on Digital Identity for Trade and DevelopmentWith UNESCAP, UNCITRAL and WB
6-9 DecemberHybrid restitution workshop to discuss and validate the policy proposals related to the two components (e-Commerce, Digital Authentication for Trade and Development), in JakarataWith Indonesia
  • End of the project: December 2021


  • To increase knowledge on the practical e-commerce best practices to address the challenges outlined in the roadmap
  • To translate the international best practices in e-commerce into a national policy and to adapt them to the national and regional framework
  • To build up SMEs expertise in the field of best practices for e-commerce and to increase their participation in the digital economy

Target Population:

  • Ministries in charge of e‐commerce, Telecommunication/ICT, Trade, Revenue/ Tax/Finance authorities
  • Business wo/men involved in e-commerce
  • NGOs, banks and service providers who want to improve and develop their business in  e‐commerce


  1. Electronic commerce & e-business fundamentals
  2. e-Government
  3. Regulatory framework
  4. ICT tools
  5. Payment
  6. Logistics
  7. Marketing
  8. The way forward


(click to enlarge)

A DACUM session on Digital Identity was held on 18th and 19th September in UNCTAD’s HQ. The purpose of this exercise, called Design a Curriculum (DACUM), as part of the TrainForTrade methodology, is to conduct brainstorming with subject matter experts (World Bank, World Economic Forum, the Republic of Estonia, Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP, Access Now, University of Lausanne) in order to define the objectives and contents of the course to be developed, including the training objectives,  identify the target population, describe the value of the training to the participants and design the test for each objective and finally to sequence the course objectives and group them into modules to form the curriculum.


  • Draft policies on digital identity for trade and development
  • Identify limits of data protection and digital identity
  • Define the scope of digital identity governance
  • Evaluate risks and solutions related to digital identity for trade and development

Target Population:

  • Policy makers: Ministry of interior, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Finance, Financial regulators, Ministry of Trade/Commerce, Ministry of ICT
  • Private sector: Chamber of commerce, Business cluster (ICT, FinTech, etc.…)  
  • The institution in charge of issuing authentications, Postal services, Financial institutions and Telecom companies


  • Fundamental Concepts of Digital Identity
  • Data Protection
  • ID Usage
  • Governance
  • ID Technology Solutions & Risks
  • Digital Trade Agreements


(click to enlarge)

Needs Assessment undertaken in 3 countries:

  • Presentation of the project to national stakeholders
  • Identification and meeting with local focal point(s)
  • Research of local best practices to update, improve and tailor-made the course materials
  • Pre-selection of potential participants (but not only in the capital of each country)


Expected results

  • Organized online deliveries of the course E-commerce Best Practice and the course on Digital Identity for Trade and Development
  • Organized a regional face-to-face workshop for each of the components (e-Commerce Best Practices, Digital Identity for Trade and Development)
    These workshops enabled the selected participants from Indonesia, the Philippines and Singapore to: – Further elaborate on the knowledge acquired from the e-Learning courses – Use this knowledge to explore policy channels that can be practically applied in their countries to boost their e-Commerce adoption efforts. – These workshops were also open to other ASEAN member countries (no dedicated funding)
  • Compilation and publication of selected case studies were produced as an outcome of the workshops
    Participants from the beneficiary countries were tasked with developing case studies on how to leverage their newly enhanced knowledge to contribute to reduce existing challenges in their country and provide policy recommendations that can be advanced at the national and regional levels. – The best case studies written by training participants are compiled and featured in a publication on e-Commerce and Digital Identity for Trade and Development in South-East Asia. Access to the published cases >>>

In 2021

  • Through this project, (1030 participation) 765 trade operators from the ASEAN region from 20 countries have improved their knowledge and capacity in the two areas of eCommerce Best Practices (608 participation, 52% of women) and Digital Identity for Trade and Development (422 participation, 43% women). Some participants may have participated in more than one event, it is define as participation.
  • Organize on-line deliveries of the course E-commerce Best Practice and the course on Digital Identity for Trade and Development
  • Organization of a regional workshop to discuss and validate the policy proposals related to e-commerce and digital authentication
    Selection of participants to review and validate the policy proposals that were advanced in the case studies. The workshop will also be open to the ASEAN Secretariat and partners; as well as other interested ASEAN member countries that took part in the previous courses delivered.

Beneficiary countries background


  • The projections estimate that the volume of business of e-Commerce will grow up to $130 billion by 2020
  • One of the Mobile-first Nations in Asia with 70% Internet traffic
  • The government has adopted an E-Commerce road map for 2017-2019 on 8 key areas: Education, HR Development, ICT Infrastructure, Logistics, Cyber Security, Funding, Taxation, and Consumer Protection
  • The main priorities in the field of cyber security are: personal data protection, digital identity, and digital literacy regarding cyber security


  • The government has designed the Philippines e-Commerce Roadmap 2016-2020 (PECR 2016-2020)
  • Objective: 100’000 Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises participating in e-commerce
  • Priorities: Fighting cybercrime and full implementation of the e-Government scheme
  • • Main challenges: digital authentication which hampers government’s efforts to fully implement e-Government as physical documents are still required and there is a “lack of a single identification card to identify a citizen”


  • A Smart Nation: E-Commerce market is growing fast, they have high speed and good ICT infrastructure
  • The volume of business of on-line shopping was at $1.1 B in 2010, it grew to $3.5 B in 2014. It is expected that this volume will grow up to $46.3 B by 2020
  • 1 strategic national project is the development of the National Digital Identity (NDI), which will allow citizens and businesses to transact online in a convenient and secure manner

Practice on e-Commerce webinar, TRAINFORTRADE case studies in South-East Asia, full detail and video of the session:


Case Study: Philippine Identification System (PhilSys) and Blockchain

Case Study: Philippines’ National Public Key Infrastructure

Case study: PhilSys Through the Looking Glass Governance Policies and Measures

Emerging e-Commerce Trends and the need to adjust Government Policies in Myanmar

Case Study: Adoption of Digital Identity to Boost Economic Growth in Malaysia

Case Study: The Right to be Forgotten in Indonesia

Case Study: Legal Frameworks on Personal Data Protection and Privacy in Cambodia

Digital Identity, Estonian example

UNCITRAL and Digital Identity

UNESCAP and Digital Identity

Hybrid restitution 2021

Opening remarks from Ms. Ibu KUAI, Ambassador Indonesia to the United Nations in Geneva

Opening remarks from Ms. Valerie Julliand, Resident Coordinator, United Nations in Indonesia

Opening remarks from Ms. Mira Tayyiba, Secretary-General, Ministry of Communications and Informatics, Indonesia (MCI)

Related documents

Needs Assessment Report South-East Asia

Final Report Regional Follow-up Workshop eCommerce Best practices, The Philippines

Final blended learning Report on Digital Identity for Trade and Development, in Singapore

This publication provides efficient and practical proposals for governments and private sector actors in the areas of e-commerce and digital economy to set up enabling policies, exchange best practices, and improve economic and human development performance in a sustainable fashion.

This report explores in chapter one a brief history of the project. Chapter two gives an overview of some of the national strategies undertaken in South-East Asia in the implementation of a digital identity. Chapter three presents seven selected case studies prepared by the project’s participants, covering the relevant legal and policy frameworks, as well as the current status of digital ID development in Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar and the Philippines. These selected case studies provide succinct examples of good practices as well as policy recommendations for further development of a NDIF. Chapter four concludes the publication with a list of recommendations.

More on the publication case by case > Documents/Other Publications

The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has accelerated the shift toward a more digital world in a way that will have long-lasting effects. Lockdown measures have led to a surge in electronic commerce (e-commerce), as consumers look for alternatives to in-person shopping.

Such shifts in global consumer behaviour mean that a robust e-commerce framework is rapidly becoming an essential component of a regionally integrated economy. Moreover, e-commerce and other economic activities enabled by information and communications technology have the potential to accelerate progress towards all 17 Sustainable Development Goals. However, many developing countries face challenges when it comes to the promotion and implementation of e-commerce.

Leading these challenges are consumer concerns over the cybersecurity infrastructure that underpins electronic transactions, especially the lack of strong methods of authentication to tackle fraud-related issues. To address such challenges, countries should establish policies that lead to the implementation of a robust national digital identity framework.

Key points:

  • Digital identity refers to the set of electronically captured and stored attributes and credentials used to uniquely identify a person.
  • Countries should establish policies that support a robust national digital identity framework to ensure their economies are regionally integrated, including through e-commerce
  • Digital identification can provide a cost-effective means for developing countries to provide citizens with access to rights and services such as banking, schooling and collecting social benefits.
  • When effectively implemented, participation in the digital economy can be a powerful tool in helping to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
Comparte este artículo en tu red social favorita