By Annette Ssemuwemba, Deputy Executive Director of the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF) Executive Secretariat at the World Trade Organisation
The dark storm of the coronavirus pandemic came with a silver lining: new ways of providing services and doing business by leveraging e-commerce and other digital opportunities. Video conferencing apps enabled lessons or work to be accessed remotely; mobile apps delivered food, groceries, and medicines at the click of a button.
But silver linings don’t shine bright for all. Gaps in technology, infrastructure and skills, especially in Least Developed Countries (LDCs), highlighted the need to help entrepreneurs grasp the possibilities of digital transformation.
Continue reading “After the pandemic storms, digital trade offers LDCs rays of sunshine”
By Dr. Deborah Elms, Executive Director, Asian Trade Centre, Singapore
A young lady in a remote village in northern Vietnam is using new technology to create and sell her family’s traditional silver necklace designs to customers across the region and even globally who can collect their purchases directly from 3D printing facilities.
Another small firm in Bangkok has transformed its eyewear company to sell online using a mobile app that allows users to visualise glasses from different angles as the phone tilts. Shoppers are finding and increasingly buying these products from all across the region.
These small companies — and many more like them — show the promise of e-commerce and digital trade to transform business in Asia. The tiniest firm in the most remote location can become a “micromultinational.”
But this promise comes with a catch: such business practices work if, and only if, governments in the region are able to build a supportive and enabling policy environment. For smaller firms, complicated or difficult policies that cause delays and drive up costs can be impossible to overcome.
Continue reading “Enabling Asian SMEs to thrive in a digital world”
By Hanne Melin, Director and Head of eBay Public Policy Lab for Europe, Middle East and Africa
Learn more about this timely topic at the upcoming
Global Forum on Development on 5 April 2017.
Register today to attend!
Irrespective of where in the world we look, we find micro and small businesses leveraging an online platform business strategy to engage in commerce on a global scale. That’s been the finding of the eBay Public Policy Lab and a team of economists at Sidley Austin LLP who have worked together since 2011 studying the trade patterns of enterprises using the eBay marketplace.
The economic opportunities cannot be overestimated.
Indeed, trade participation is linked to increased productivity and greater probability of firm survival. This, in turn, contributes to more prosperous communities. Nevertheless, micro and small firms remain underrepresented in world trade, despite them dominating most countries’ enterprise population. Moreover, developing countries’ role in world trade is still understated, not to mention the small firms in those countries.
Continue reading “The Online Platform, Trade, MSMEs and Women: Lessons from eBay towards user-driven economic empowerment”