E-commerce Strategies

UNCTAD’s support to E-commerce Strategy (ECS) Development helps countries to elaborate e-commerce strategies on the basis of comprehensive assessments, often in the form of eTrade Readiness Assessments. Policy advice is offered to country partners as well as regional bodies that are requesting assistance in building and maintaining a dynamic and inclusive e-commerce ecosystem that can support sustainable development gains.  


  • Implement a multi-stakeholder, participatory process to policy development which is based on a whole-of-government approach and inclusive of non-governmental actors to promote unity of effort towards a shared vision aimed at reaping development benefits from e-commerce and digital trade.
  • Conduct a thorough examination of the e-commerce ecosystem along the seven pillars of the eTrade for all initiative, which are key to digital transformation: e-commerce assessment and strategy formulation, ICT infrastructure and services, payment solutions, trade facilitation and logistics, legal and regulatory frameworks, skills development, and access to finance.
  • Review and assess policy options based on available statistics and data, as well as qualitative research, consultations and stakeholder surveys.
  • Identify an overall vision, goals, objectives, and specific measures for strategic intervention, associated with a robust implementation plan anchored in relevant country development policies and goals.
  • Establish a governance framework that will promote good practices and sustainability of policy reforms.
  • Explore the mandates of public and private sector actors, as well as of development partners, to leverage existing and generate new initiatives in support of the e-commerce strategy implementation.
  • Assist with the coordination at the national or regional levels and with development partners, including eTrade for all partners, with a view to support strategy implementation.
How to work with us

The UNCTAD ICT Policy Review Programme can assist in undertaking an assessment of national needs, characteristics, strengths and weaknesses. Identifying the main challenges and barriers furthermore helps to ensure that policy measures adopted will be effective.

UNCTAD may provide assistance in the following areas:
  • Development of a national e-commerce strategy

  • Comprehensive assessment of the current status of e-commerce readiness based on a framework of eight critical policy areas (ICT infrastructure, logistics and trade facilitation, legal, e-payment, e-commerce platforms, awareness raising, skills development and e-procurement)

  • Defining strategies to strengthen micro, small and medium-sized enterprises for e-commerce

  • Identifying measures to strengthen the IT and software industry for e-commerce

  • Sector-specific studies (ie. retail, manufacturing, outsourcing, e-services, tourism) for strengthening e-commerce

  • Designing national e-commerce surveys and data collection

  • Other e-commerce studies on request

For further information or to request an UNCTAD ICT Policy Review, please contact or make a written request to: and clearly indicate "UNCTAD ICT Policy Review" in the subject line.