More Fertile E-Commerce Environment Urged by UN

Photo Credit: UNCTAD

The new economy is perhaps even more critical for emerging and developing markets, but the infrastructure and regulatory environment may be lagging. More needs to be done to move e-commerce to the front of the economic priority list, from logistics to supportive governments. These are some of the key observations and recommendations of the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in its Information Economy Report: “Unlocking the Potential of E-Commerce for Developing Countries.”

Business to Consumer
There is also a B2C (Business-to-Consumer) E-commerce Index in the Linked Report. According to UN News Centre, such draws on data to assess e-commerce readiness and help States to formulate their national e-commerce strategies. Through the Index, governments can identify their relative strengths and weaknesses. In Africa, for example, internet penetration levels need to rise to promote e-commerce readiness. Education and skill development of citizens is also a needed foundation. “As the digital economy expands and more business activities are affected, it becomes more important for governments to consider policies that can help to harness e-commerce for sustainable development,” UNCTAD Secretary-General Mukhisa Kituyi comments.
Is Facebook part of Answer?
Facebook has just announced a range of new initiatives which could become the foundation for a broader and deeper e-commerce. Facebook Messenger will now be capable of fund transfers and consumating other commercial transactions. However, many Internet giants have a desire to dig for greater profits via e-commerce. What sets Facebook apart, and perhaps a few others as Google, is the stated intention and developing capacity to reach most global citizens now technologically cut-off, particularly those in developing economies.

Protecting Internet Freedom Balancing Regulation to Presumably Aid E-Commerce
One area of concern is the inclination of some governments to rationalize greater controls over media, communication among citizens and suppression of alternative as well as dissident political views on the stated objective of improving and making a more secure the Internet. Read – “Come to the Virtual Atlantis!
 Making information and communications technology work for development requires more than expanding the infrastructure, the Report indicates. In order to foster productive and inclusive use of information and communications technology, governments need to create legal, institutional, and policy frameworks and generate the necessary skills in government, business, and civil society, and the Index measure’s progress in those areas.  Also See:  “The Interview – Digital Diplomacy , a Battlefield or Marketplace of Ideas?

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