High-level meeting on the future of e-commerce in developing countries

12 April 2017

The 2017 edition of UNCTAD E-commerce Week will be held from 24–28 April 2017 at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, with the theme “Towards inclusive e-commerce”.

On 25 April, the high-level event "Digital Transformation for All: Empowering Entrepreneurs and Small Business" will be the highlight of the week.

An interactive dialogue with ministers and representatives of government, international organizations, captains of industry, civil society, academia and youth will take place.

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Participants will include:

  • Mukhisa Kituyi, Secretary-General of UNCTAD
  • Jack Ma, Special Adviser of UNCTAD for young entrepreneurs and small business and founder and chairman of Alibaba Group
  • Roberto Azevêdo, Director-General of the World Trade Organization
  • Houlin Zhao, Secretary-General of the International Telecommunications Union
  • Susana Malcorra, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Argentina
  • Lyonpo Lekey Dorji, Minister for Economic Affairs of Bhutan
  • Sorasak Pan, Minister of Commerce of Cambodia
  • Alexander Mora, Minister for Foreign Trade of Costa Rica
  • Juan Sebastian Viteri Guillen, Minister of Production of Ecuador
  • Okechukwu Enelamah, Federal Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment of Nigeria
  • Khurram Dastgir Khan, Minister of Commerce of Pakistan
  • Francois Kanimba, Minister for Trade and Industry of Rwanda
  • Alioune Sarr, Minister of Trade, Industry and the Informal Sector of Senegal
  • Winichai Chaemchaeng, Vice-Minister of Commerce of Thailand
  • Amanda Long, Director General of Consumers International

The event will set the scene for the rest of the week and provide different perspectives on how societies could adapt to the changing economic landscape brought about by the digital revolution.

It comes at a crucial moment when many Governments grapple with the impact of the digital economy and the opportunities it presents for global growth and inclusive development. While e-commerce is widely recognized as an important driver of innovation, competitiveness, job creation and growth, most developing countries need more assistance to benefit from the evolving digital economy.

The session will be moderated by Nancy Kacungira, news anchor and journalist, International African Woman of the Year Award in 2016 and BBC News Komla Dumor Award in 2015.