Information and communications technologies (ICTs) are playing an increasingly important role in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The digitalization of economic activities and trade is of direct relevance to several of these Goals, for example:
E-commerce and various digital applications can be leveraged to promote the empowerment of women as entrepreneurs and traders (Goal 5.b).
They can support productive activities, decent job creation, entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation, and encourage the formalization and growth of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, including through access to ICT-enabled financial services (Goal 8.3).
Digital solutions can be leveraged to increase access of such enterprises in developing countries to financial services and markets and enable their integration into value chains (Goal 9.3).
Moreover, e-commerce will become increasingly important in achieving Goal 17.11, to significantly increase the exports of developing countries and double the share of global exports of the least developed countries (LDCs) by 2020.
Discussion topics and guiding questions for the first session:
What do developing countries need in order to build competitive advantages through e-commerce and the digital economy?
What can developing countries do in order to strengthen their physical and technology infrastructure?
How can developed countries partner with developing countries, in the most impactful way, to maximize opportunities and address challenges relating to e-commerce and the digital economy?
In order to facilitate deliberations and the informal exchange of experiences and best practices on the topics to be discussed, member States and observers are requested to submit written contributions to the UNCTAD secretariat by Wednesday, 6 September 2017.
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