Making the ASEAN Digital Economy Framework Agreement (DEFA) a Reality


About the Webinar

The proposed ASEAN Digital Economy Framework Agreement (DEFA) will be the first agreement of its kind in the world. If successfully concluded, the DEFA has the potential to increase the value of the regional digital economy to US$2 trillion by 2030, equivalent to an additional US$1 trillion compared to a business-as-usual trajectory. Negotiations were officially launched at the 43rd ASEAN Summit in September 2023 and the first negotiation round took place in early December 2023.

This webinar aims to provide a better understanding of the overall negotiating process and the most salient provisions in the Agreement, as well as the anticipated challenges in view of the different digital readiness levels and disparities between regulatory frameworks and institutional capacities across ASEAN Member States. It will also discuss how these challenges may be addressed, and how best to incorporate the needs and concerns of the business community in practice.

About the Speakers

Ms Alpana Roy is Singapore’s Senior Economic Official to ASEAN and oversees the ASEAN Division in the Ministry of Trade and Industry. She is responsible for advancing ASEAN’s economic integration and ties with external partners, including various Free Trade Agreements (FTAs). She served as Chief Negotiator and Deputy Chief Negotiator in various Singapore and ASEAN FTAs, and is currently the Chair of the ASEAN Trade in Goods Upgrade negotiations. Alpana’s prior appointments include advancing Singapore’s economic relations with the Americas, Southeast Asia, the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC); Counsellor (Economic) at the Embassy of Singapore in Washington DC.; as well as appointments in Singapore’s national trade promotion agency and Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Alpana graduated in Political Science (Honours) from the National University of Singapore, and obtained a Masters Degree in International Public Policy from the Johns Hopkins University Paul H Nitze School of Advanced International Studies.

Dr Maria Monica Wihardja is a visiting fellow at the ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute and an adjunct assistant professor at the National University of Singapore. She was a former World Bank Economist in the World Bank’s Poverty and Equity Global Practice and the recipient of the Nikkei Asia Scholarship 2023. In 2017, she was seconded to the Executive Office of the President of the Republic of Indonesia as a senior advisor to the Deputy Chief Staff in charge of strategic economic issues, where she oversaw the food policy reforms and stunting prevention agenda. Her research interests include digital technology; food security; poverty and inequality; jobs, regional and global architecture; disinformation and electoral propaganda. Dr Wihardja has a PhD in Regional Science from Cornell University, a MPhil in Economics from Cambridge University, and a BA in Applied Mathematics-Economics from Brown University.

Mr Hadri Sopri is the Head of Trade Policy for Asia-Pacific & Japan at Amazon Web Services (AWS). He has extensive experience in trade policy and negotiations, engaging government and private sector stakeholders on digital trade, and working with international fora such as the WTO, ASEAN and APEC. Prior to joining AWS, Hadri was at the Singapore Ministry of Trade and Industry where he negotiated digital trade chapters and digital economy agreements with partners such as Australia and MERCOSUR. Hadri also served as a trade diplomat at the Singapore Mission in Geneva where he led the launch of plurilateral digital trade negotiations at the WTO. Hadri earned his degree in political science at the National University of Singapore.


This webinar will be delivered online entirely. You can join the webinar at the specified date and time using devices (computer, phone, or tablet) with internet connection.

Please register here to receive your unique link for joining the webinar.

If you have questions for the speakers, please key in your questions via the Q&A, stating your name and affiliation. The moderator will field them to the speaker during the Q&A session.


Feb 07 2024


10:00 am - 11:30 am

More Info