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Information economy report 2015

Unlocking the potential of E-Commerce for developing countries

image of Information economy report 2015
Electronic commerce (e-commerce) is rapidly transforming the way in which enterprises are interacting among each other as well as with consumers and governments. Despite important potential benefits, businesses and consumers in developing countries were for a long time slow to exploit e-commerce. As a result of changes in the evolving landscape for information and communications technologies (ICTs), this pattern is now changing, and e-commerce is growing rapidly in emerging markets and developing economies. Against this background, this publication revisits the potential opportunities and risks of e-commerce and examines how countries can benefit the most from the phenomenon in today's Information Society. Using official statistics and private sector data, it provides an up-to-date review of global and regional trends related to e-commerce in view of changes in the ICT landscape, focusing on developing countries while drawing lessons from developed countries.

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Strategy and policy implications

As the digital economy expands and more and more business activities are affected, strategies which enable companies across different sectors and sizes to engage in e-commerce are becoming increasingly relevant. In this context, a well-developed national strategy may help enhance the net benefits of e-commerce. Such a strategy needs to facilitate the ability of producers to sell online and of consumers and other buyers to purchase online. Effective national policies in areas such as ICT infrastructure development, logistics and trade facilitation, the legal and regulatory environment, e-procurement, e-payments, platforms, awareness-raising and skills development in combination with an enabling international environment are essential to enable domestic and cross-border e-commerce.

English

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