Tuvalu Rapid eTrade Readiness Assessment

image of Tuvalu Rapid eTrade Readiness Assessment

The eTrade Readiness Assessment of Tuvalu focuses on examining seven key policy areas that are most relevant for e-commerce. Within each area, critical readiness gaps are identified and relevant recommendations are proposed to overcome barriers and bottlenecks to the growth of digital trade. The Tuvalu Rapid eTrade Readiness Assessment is the nineteenth such assessment conducted by UNCTAD since the launch of the Programme in 2017. There are signs that Tuvalu has started to consider some of the potential benefits that e-commerce can bring to its population and in particular in reducing some of the negative effects of its geographic location and small size. For this to happen, existing policies such as TKIII and TPF must be implemented, while higher visibility of the digital economy in the national development agenda constitutes a necessary pre-condition to tackle all the aforementioned challenges. This Rapid eTrade Readiness Assessment helps identify opportunities and barriers for Tuvalu to engage in and benefit from e-commerce and the digital economy. It also helps operationalize relevant strategies included in the Tuvalu's Trade Policy Statement and the Tuvalu Private Sector Development Plan. Both documents highlight agriculture, fisheries, tourism and labor mobility as key areas of export growth, all of which could be supported by e-commerce. They also note other important cross-cutting areas that are relevant to e-commerce, including competition policy and consumer protection, public procurement, intellectual property rights, and gender issues.



Executive Summary

With an estimated population of just over 11,000 and a total land area of 26 square kilometers, Tuvalu faces a number of unique development challenges. Its economic potential is constrained by the lack of natural resources; a small domestic market and an underdeveloped private sector. Its geographic location and fragmentation across nine islands and atolls make for difficult and expensive access to major international markets and high inter-island transport costs. Tuvalu is highly dependent on imports, the bulk of which consists of food, fuel, building materials, medicine and medical equipment, as well as most consumer products including motor vehicles, appliances, and clothing. Tuvalu has been characterized as a classic migration-remittances-aid-bureaucracy (MIRAB) economy, predominated by government activities. With limited opportunities for private business, the country relies on its public sector as the main driver of growth. Tuvalu is one of the least connected countries in the world, with high-cost and limited Internet services. Poor connectivity constrains business and tourism opportunities as well as the ability to respond quickly to natural disasters.


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error