The eTrade for all initiative

To make e-commerce work for development requires a holistic approach as well as a stronger private-public policy dialogue. The eTrade for all initiative aims at addressing existing knowledge gaps and maximizing synergies with partners. Launched in July 2016 at UNCTAD’s 14th ministerial conference in Nairobi, this multi-stakeholder partnership connects the dots between beneficiary countries, partners and donors so everyone can get more from e-commerce.

« We welcome the formal unveiling of the eTrade for all initiative at UNCTAD XIV. It provides a new approach to trade development through electronic exchanges by allowing developing countries to more easily navigate the supply of technical assistance for building capacity in e-commerce readiness and for donors to get a clear picture »

Nairobi Azimio , Member States Declaration – UNCTAD XIV

eTrade for all core principles:

  • Demand-driven and bottom-up. Actions will be guided by the needs and interests of developing countries. eTrade for all will facilitate interactions among all stakeholders to identify needs, gaps and constraints to e-commerce development, and to suggest appropriate solutions.
  • Focused on building local knowledge and capacityeTrade for all will help developing countries to build the necessary capacity to engage in and benefit from e-commerce.
  • Gender sensitive. Women and men may be engaged in e-commerce in different ways and for different reasons, and may face different opportunities and obstacles. It is important that the voices and perspectives of women are included, and that projects and programmes are gender sensitive.
  • Emphasis on synergieseTrade for all will apply a pragmatic approach, involving assistance by a single development partner, through coordination among two or more development partners, or via public-private partnerships. All participants commit to seek synergies from collaboration with a view to enhancing efficiency and avoiding duplication of work.
  • Data and facts-driven. There is a need for more reliable and comparable data and statistics on e-commerce. eTrade for all will galvanize resources and support to produce such data and to undertake assessments of the e-commerce market and e-commerce readiness of different countries.
  • Performance should be assessed through results-based managementeTrade for all will seek to assess outcomes through rigorous, common monitoring and evaluation metrics, and learning from failures as well as good practices.
  • Long-term viable impact is the goal. The successful implementation of eTrade for all will depend on the development and use of solutions and interventions that are cost-effective and sustainable, i.e. that remain effective even after the end of an intervention.

eTrade for all and the SDGs

Direct impact on:

Target 8.1. Increase eTrade for all support for developing countries, in particular least developed countries, including through the Enhanced Integrated Framework for Trade-Related Technical Assistance to Least Developed Countries.



Target 17.9. Enhance international support for implementing effective and targeted capacity-building in developing countries to support national plans to implement all the sustainable development goals, including through North-South, South-South and triangular cooperation.



eTrade for all would serve as a timely vehicle for supporting the implementation of Agenda 2030 on Sustainable Development by helping to attain relevant trade and development goals, including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on decent work and economic growth, the advancement of innovation and infrastructure, revitalizing the global partnership as well as the attainment of the goals related to gender equality, notably by furthering the empowerment of women using ICTs.