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Global e-commerce worth $22.1 trillion: UNCTAD
20
Jul '16
Global e-commerce or electronic commerce was worth $ 22.1 trillion in 2015, up 38 % since 2013, and developing countries should rapidly grasp its growing potential , UNCTAD said at the launch of a new e-commerce initiative.

The new initiative, called 'eTrade for All' brings international organizations, donors and businesses under one umbrella, easing developing country access to cutting-edge technical assistance and giving donors more options for funding, the international body facilitating world trade announced.

By providing new opportunities and new markets, online commerce can help generate economic opportunities, including jobs. But while more than 70 % of people are shopping online in Denmark, Luxembourg and the United Kingdom, the story is different in most developing countries. In Bangladesh, Ghana and Indonesia, for example, just 2 % or less of the population buy online.

“A huge divide is opening between countries that are exploiting those opportunities and those that are not,” UNCTAD Secretary-General Mukhisa Kituyi said, ahead of the initiative's launch at UNCTAD 14.

E-commerce includes both business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C), respectively valued at around $19.9 trillion and $2.2 trillion each, according to the new UNCTAD data. This trade is mostly domestic, but is becoming more and more international.

The new UNCTAD data shows that merging economies accounting for most of global e-commerce growth. China is the world's largest B2C e-commerce market, both in terms of sales and in number of online shoppers. Brazil, India, the Republic of Korea and the Russian Federation have also all moved into the top 10 e-commerce markets.

“I am delighted by this collaboration with our partners, which finally gives the global community an effective platform for helping developing countries access and benefit from e-commerce,” Dr. Kituyi added.

With strong involvement by the private sector – through a new Private Sector Advisory Council – and with financial contributions from the governments of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Sweden, Finland and South Korea, the 'eTrade for All' initiative will support developing countries which express an interest in boosting their online commerce.

The initiative will help in developing countries in seven policy areas, including e-commerce assessments, information and communications technology infrastructure, payments, trade logistics, legal and regulatory frameworks, skills development and financing for e-commerce. (SH)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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