The 7 Policy Areas
What does it take for a country to engage effectively in e-commerce? To better tackle the issues at hand in a holistic fashion, we have categorized those underlying issues into 7 key policy areas:
National assessments are essential to identify strengths and weaknesses in the e-commerce readiness of countries. These assessments can in turn serve as a basis for formulating relevant policies to harness the potential of digital technologies for economic growth and social development.
ICT Infrastructure & Services
Affordable and reliable ICT infrastructure is key for a thriving digital economy. In particular, issues related to accessibility and connectivity, the regular upgrading of infrastructures and reduced artificial regulatory barriers need to be addressed.
Payment systems online are opening up new possibilities for both consumers and corporate buyers. But cash on delivery remains the preferred option in many developing countries, while e-commerce users could greatly benefit from an environment where payments can be made safely and easily online.
An effective and competitive national and international trade environment is vital for a functioning e-commerce ecosystem. Effective trade logistics and cross border facilitation measures are key for e-commerce development.
Legal & Regulatory Frameworks
Security and trust are fundamental for an environment conducive to e-commerce, creating certainty for consumers and businesses alike. Laws and regulations related to consumer protection, data protection, and cybercrime, elaborated in compliance with domestic, regional, and international legal instruments, are essential to ensure safe online activities for all.
In many countries, business owners and policymakers lack the capacities and technical skills to harness the potential offered by digital technologies, thus hindering the uptake of online commerce and digital activities.
Access to Financing
To facilitate the growth of e-commerce and e-trade in developing countries, it is crucial that they build a strong financial architecture that funds innovation and entrepreneurship at all points across the e-commerce value chain.