Vietnam’s central bank inked a deal on Friday to be part of a new ASEAN plan focused on making cross-border payments easier. The bank will collaborate with Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, and Singapore to simplify transactions between these nations, including the use of QR codes for regular shopping.
This agreement unfolded at an ASEAN finance leaders’ meeting in Jakarta. The deal also extends to other financial transactions. Specifically, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand aim to enable easier trading of financial assets like stocks and government bonds in their local currencies.
Perry Warjiyo, the head of Bank Indonesia, mentioned that the initiative aims for more than just boosting trade and investment. It’s about safeguarding these economies against uncertainties like fluctuating exchange rates.
Indonesia seems to be ahead in this game. Their QR code payment system is already connected with Thailand and Malaysia, and they aim to add Singapore to that list soon.
This is significant for ASEAN, a bloc representing over 600 million people and economies worth a combined $2.3 trillion. Progress on regional integration has been sluggish, so this initiative could be a positive push.