ASEAN supports companies to utlise QRcode purchasing across region hinh anh 1 Illustrative photo (Photo:  Treasury Today)

Jakarta (VNA) – Chairman of the ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN-BAC) Arsjad Rasjid, who is also Chairman of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KADIN), on April 3 said that ASEAN-BAC will support micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in the region to implement QRcodeASEAN initiative.

In a statement released on April 3, Rasjid said that ASEAN-BAC will lead the regional digital transformation, especially to strengthen connectivity and financial inclusion for MSMEs because the economic sector is the backbone of the regional economy.

He said that with a population of over 170 million people, Indonesia is the largest economy in Southeast Asia and is a key player in the digital transformation of the region. Indonesia's digital economy is expected to reach 133 billion USD by 2025, accounting for 11% of the country's gross domestic product (GDP).

The QRcodeASEAN initiative aims to connect QR codes in payments across ASEAN countries, allowing users to purchase goods and services across member countries easier with transactions in local currencies. At the same time, the QRcode ASEAN will help MSMEs to expand their market share and customers in the region.

The use of QRcodeASEAN will reduce transaction costs and foreign exchange risks. The initiative will also open up new opportunities for businesses to contribute to the development of the digital economy in ASEAN, encouraging financial inclusion and increasing cross-border transactions.

Head of the ASEAN-BAC working group on QRcode ASEAN, Pandu Sjahrir said, so far, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand have connected payment integration while Singapore has also connected with Malaysia and Thailand. In addition, the central banks of the five ASEAN member countries, including Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, and the Philippines also signed a memorandum of understanding on payment integration between the countries.

The QRcodeASEAN initiative is one of Indonesia's priority agendas together with two digital initiatives - Wiki Entrepreneur and Market Lending Platform - to enhance financial and market access for MSMEs./.