High-level seminar: Making electronic commerce work for development by connecting the dots

High-level seminar: Making electronic commerce work for development by connecting the dots
21 March 2022
09:30 - 11:00 hrs.
, Switzerland

The accelerated shift to digital during the COVID-19 pandemic is having a transformational impact on production, consumption and trade patterns. While this can create opportunities and be a powerful driver of economic growth, trade and job creation, it can also lead to widening divides and income inequalities between and within countries. Development gains from new technologies do not accrue automatically, nor can they be taken for granted. The net outcome depends on the policies and regulations adopted by Governments to foster productive and more inclusive use of digital technologies.

E-commerce is booming. However, in many developing countries, various barriers are hampering the ability of businesses to harness digital opportunities. UNCTAD’s eTrade Readiness Assessments, implemented with eTrade for all partners, propose concrete policy recommendations on how to overcome such barriers and developing countries are now acting upon them.

Still, much more work is needed to avoid widening divides. Scaled up, coordinated international support is urgently required to boost the ability of countries with relatively low levels of digital readiness to create the policy frameworks and capabilities needed to harness e-commerce and the digital economy for sustainable development, leaving no one behind.

This seminar will discuss how best to leverage country assessments and smart partnerships to accelerate the implementation of needed policy actions. It will hear from the perspectives of:

  • National governments
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Geneva-based eTrade for all partners
  • Donors



Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO)

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