Bringing SMEs onto the E-Commerce Highway

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This publication studies e-commerce-related policies that affect SMEs’ engagement in cross-border e-commerce. It identifies the bottlenecks and requirements of e-commerce participation and presents examples of best practices in regulating cross-border e-commerce. This work addresses competitiveness issues in each segment of the cross-border e-commerce process chain, including establishing business online, international e-payment, cross-border delivery and aftersales services. It provides a checklist of the essential ingredients for SME success in cross-border e-commerce, by examining enabling factors at the firm level, immediate business environment level and national policy level. The publication also reviews global cross-border e-commerce and offers a deeper analysis of selected economies. This work serves as a starting point for a public private dialogue on e-commerce, especially for SMEs in developing countries.



Global overview of cross-border e-commerce

As the economic and policy significance of e-commerce has increased, a growing number of countries – including Canada, China, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States – have begun to collect data on e-commerce revenues. This process will help refine the currently broad definition of ecommerce and lead to its more universal adoption. In parallel with these government efforts, research has been undertaken by consulting firms and data banks, taking advantage of the growing interest in exploring ecommerce data.


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