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Rise of digital economy pushes ASEAN toward policy coordination

Grab-Uber merger highlights need for integrated competition rules

SINGAPORE -- Southeast Asia's expanding digital economy in areas such as online retail and ride-hailing services is pushing the member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to harmonize their policies and rules.

"E-commerce is the new reality for businesses today, and is becoming an increasingly important tool for small and medium enterprises to plug into the global supply chain," said Singapore minister for trade and industry, Lim Hng Kiang, at the ASEAN Economic Community meeting Thursday, where the region's economic ministers had gathered to discuss further economic integration.

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