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.



Emerging international cooperation

Cross-border e-commerce is essentially international trade. When a product or service is supplied from a seller in one country to a customer in another, an international trade transaction is recorded. International trade is governed by a myriad of laws and treaties, including the rules on goods and services trade of WTO, bilateral and regional trade agreements and, increasingly, international investment rules, as global value chains link trade and investment together. In the context of cross-border e-commerce, rules on cross-border data flows, consumer protection, IP protection and data privacy are also key determinants that shape the flow of trade.


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