E-Commerce and Digital Trade

E-Commerce and Digital Trade

A Policy Guide for Least-Developed Countries, Small States and Sub-Saharan Africa You do not have access to this content

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Paul R. Baker
09 Aug 2017
9781848599628 (PDF)

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This policy guide reviews the current regulatory frameworks, legal issues, empirical data, WTO member states proposals, and existing literature on e-commerce and digital trade. It is designed to help policy-makers in capacity-constrained Commonwealth small states, least developed countries, and sub-Saharan African countries to participate effectively in global work on the subject area, including in the context of the WTO work programme on e-commerce.

It also provides an overview of the international support mechanisms that are available to allow e-commerce to stimulate trade and economic performance, through technical assistance, capacity-building, and the facilitation of access to e-commerce by micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, including small producers and suppliers in developing countries, and particularly in least developed countries.

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  • Mark Click to Access
  • Acknowledgments
  • Abbreviations and acronyms
  • Introduction

    Technology enables firms to enter and even dominate markets with limited investment in inventory and physical capital, thereby reducing sunk costs traditionally associated with market entry.

  • Relevance of e-commerce for development and growth

    A major challenge in defining e-commerce lies in its intangible nature and the rapid changes to the environment in which it exists (Krogman and Khumalo, 2016).

  • Policy frameworks for e-commerce

    Early adopters of e-commerce include mainly developed countries led by the United States and Europe, where e-commerce has contributed to massive economic growth. China is among the early adopters of e-commerce in the case of developing countries, and Chinese internet trade has grown extensively over the years since its first adoption in the 1990s.

  • E-commerce negotiations and interests

    Trade negotiation has a vital role to play in addressing external barriers to e-commerce in developing nations. Negotiations at both the bilateral and multilateral level are crucial, for example in negotiating access to developed country markets in e-commerce service exports as well as access to the hardware and software that facilitate e-commerce for countries that do not produce them.

  • Conclusion

    The benefits of e-commerce and the digitisation of goods and services have been explored in this Policy Guide. Developing countries, especially landlocked and island countries, have a strong interest in adopting economic and social policies that can facilitate the development of the internet economy, of which e-commerce is only one segment.

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