Fast-tracking implementation of eTrade Readiness Assessments - Third edition

This publication is the third in a series of reports reviewing the implementation of recommendations contained in UNCTAD’s eTrade Readiness Assessments (eT Readies). It builds on the findings and recommendations of previous reviews prepared in 2020 and 2022, and on the outcomes of other capacity development activities. 

The report draws mainly on the experience and contributions of the twenty countries from Africa, Asia and the Pacific that took part in the review. It shows how eT Readies have helped beneficiary countries spur institutional reforms and mechanisms to coordinate the implementation of e-commerce policy actions and operationalize enabling reforms. It shows how partner countries are utilising digital technologies and e-commerce as a catalyst for economic and social development sparking innovations in several policy areas and creating new opportunities for businesses and consumers. Examples of how they are expanding smart partnerships to grow sustainably their e-commerce ecosystem are presented, alongside a spotlight on how regional initiatives are reinforcing the scope and impact of national e-commerce development initiatives.

At the same time, it also illustrates the multifaceted challenges encountered in the implementation process and recognizes that more efforts are needed to foster a well-coordinated and inclusive whole of government/whole of society approach.

The report stresses the urgent need for expediting e-commerce enabling reforms, investments, and scaling-up the required international support to help partner countries address persisting hurdles across seven policy areas. The recommendations presented in this report provide UNCTAD's and eTrade for all partners the foundation for strengthening synergies and support to developing countries, particularly least developed countries (LDCs), to build the capabilities needed to reap the benefits of a sustainable and inclusive digital economy for the benefit of all.

Starting in 2017, UNCTAD's eTrade Readiness Assessments have provided assistance in building capabilities for developing countries, particularly LDCs, on a demand-driven basis. eT Readies offer a comprehensive overview of the existing e-commerce landscape in partner countries and policy recommendations across seven policy areas, presented in a comprehensive action matrix.

Since the establishment of the eTrade Implementation Support Mechanism in 2020, implementation reviews are regularly conducted, to build in-country capacities for effective implementation, based on the principles of country ownership, inclusivity, and results-based management.