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Southeast Asia’s Internet economy grows beyond all expectations

Google, Temasek, Bain & Company raise forecast for region

The use of smartphones and online services is surging in Southeast Asia.

The use of smartphones and online services is surging in Southeast Asia. (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Southeast Asia’s Internet economy is growing much faster than expected due to online shopping and ride-sharing, according to a report published Thursday (October 3).

Business consultant firm Bain & Company, Google, and Singapore government-owned Temasek Holdings predicted the online economy in the region would expand by 39 percent to reach US$100 billion (NT$3 trillion), Reuters reported.

The annual study also raised its prediction of economic growth for the region through 2025 to US$300 billion, up from a previous estimate of US$240 billion. One of the main reasons cited was the fact that younger people could afford smartphones and use them for a range of activities, from banking to booking tickets, according to the report.

Ride-hailing services such as Grab and Indonesia’s Gojek have quadrupled in value since 2015 and will continue to grow as they turn their attention to food delivery. In just four years, the number of Internet users in the region surged from 260 million to 360 million.

Southeast Asia has also become a more attractive investment destination in the wake of the trade war between the United States and China, the report said.

Updated : 2021-04-22 12:16 GMT+08:00