Cross-border data flows improving in ASEAN as countries embrace open data transfer policies: Salesforce
By Digital News Asia July 12, 2023
- Indonesia moves up two spots to 13th since 2021
- Singapore retains the third spot behind Japan and the UK
Salesforce released Data Beyond Borders 3.0, its third report analysing the state of G20 economies and Singapore’s openness to cross-border data flows.
“Cross-border data transfers drive economic success. In ASEAN, economies like Singapore are reaping the benefits with its strong cross-border data policies and conducive regulatory environment. This sets the benchmark for other ASEAN nations,” said Boon Poh Mok (pic), Director of Government Affairs & Public Policy for Salesforce Southeast Asia & Greater China. “It is promising to see economies like Indonesia moving in the right trajectory, with the introduction of new laws that promote cross-border data flows. Supporting the movement of data across borders unlocks the region’s potential and competitiveness, and will help to drive the region’s overall growth”
When ranking the economies according to ease of cross-border data flows, the Data Beyond Borders 3.0 report shows:
- Singapore retained third place in the overall ranking, coming only behind Japan and the United Kingdom. It held the same spot in 2021.
- Indonesia is among the G20 economies that have improved the most since the last report. It is now ranked 13th, up from 15th in 2021.
The analysis shows that ASEAN economies have made steady progress in enabling cross-border data flows as a result of embracing the following open data transfer policies:
- In Singapore, the government has signed Digital Economy Agreements with several countries, including Chile, New Zealand, South Korea, Australia, the European Union, and the United Kingdom, to promote the free flow of data.
- In Indonesia, the Data Protection Law, introduced in 2022, has provided precise mechanisms for cross-border data transfers and clarity over permissible data types to be transferred.
- Regional agreements such as The ASEAN Digital Economy Framework Agreement (DEFA) and the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF) are being developed to facilitate cross-border data flows.
Countries that embrace open cross-border data flow are more likely to grow their digital economies. Cross-border e-commerce has had a 45-fold increase throughout the last decade, reaching an estimated US$2.7 trillion (RM12.6 trillion) in 2023. When data moves across borders, it increases competition, enhances the opportunities for a country’s people, communities, and businesses — including job-creating and knowledge-sharing — and positively impacts its overall economy.
The report also outlines policy recommendations that countries can implement to realise further cross-border data flows:
- Developing global standards by harmonising privacy laws and aligning on principles for government access to data in the cloud.
- Expanding digital economy agreements, such as free trade agreements, to include cross-border data provisions.
- Making trusted data-sharing frameworks the default.
- Accelerating the digitisation of businesses and government services.
- Clearly defining data sovereignty in a global and interoperable way, along with standards to manage it.
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