SINGAPORE (Mar 12): On March 5, Catalist-listed e-commerce player Y Ventures Group announced that it was developing a new platform focused on cross-border purchases. Called AORA, the platform will function as a global buying concierge for Asian consumers. Y Ventures also signed a memorandum of understanding with logistics provider Singapore Post to explore “developing a world-class e-commerce platform with reliable last-mile delivery services”.

As Y Ventures CEO Alex Low lays out his plans for AORA, he is keeping in mind the possibility that an e-commerce tax will be introduced in the future. At present, online shoppers purchasing under $400 worth of goods from overseas providers are exempt from the Goods and Services Tax. That could change in a few years. On Feb 19, the government announced it would work towards the implementation of a GST on imported services. This so-called “Netflix tax” means that local consumers will have to pay 7% GST on services such as Netflix and Spotify from 2020. And, the government is studying ways to collect GST on low-value e-commerce purchases too.

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