Germany has donated three-quarters of a million euros to UNCTAD to help some of the world’s poorest countries assess their readiness to develop electronic commerce so that they can boost economic growth and reduce poverty.
The potential of e-commerce remains largely untapped in the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) – from Afghanistan to Zambia – and the German intervention will enable a rapid assessment of e-trade requirements such as secure payment systems and reliable delivery logistics in these countries.
UNCTAD figures suggest that the difficulty of making payments online means that currently less than 3% of internet users in LDCs are able to shop online. This compares with figures of up to 90% in developed countries.
The project, known as “Rapid E-Trade Readiness Assessment of Least Developed Countries (e-T.Ready)”, will receive 750,000 euros (US$879,147) from Germany to be administered through a trust fund in regular disbursements up to 2019.
The funding arrangement was signed in Geneva, Switzerland, on Tuesday, 28 November, by Ulrich Seidenberger, Deputy Permanent Representative of the. Permanent Mission of the Federal Republic of Germany to the Office of the United Nations in Geneva, and UNCTAD Deputy Secretary-General Isabelle Durant.