UNCTAD eCommerce Week 2020

In light of the development of the COVID-19 virus situation, we would like to inform you that we have decided to cancel the eCommerce Week 2020.

UNCTAD’s Senior Management has taken the decision that, effective immediately, all meetings involving international participants scheduled until the end of April 2020 should be postponed. This conclusion was arrived at taking into account the policy of the Swiss Government for the cancellation/postponement of events of 1,000 persons or more, the implications of prevailing limitations on international travel, and the need to minimize undue inconvenience to meeting participants.

For further information on the coronavirus, we encourage you to consult the WHO website.

Ensuring the health and safety of all participants is our primary concern. It is for this reason that we are taking the difficult decision of cancelling the eCommerce Week.

We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. However, we look forward to welcoming you in 2021 for a new edition of the eCommerce Week, and also – for those of you who are interested – in Abu Dhabi for the first Asia eCommerce Week from 6 to 10 December 2020. Further information on this exciting event will be shared in the next few weeks.


The theme of the eCommerce Week 2020 is “Creating Value in the Digital Economy“.


UNCTAD’s eCommerce Week is the leading forum for Ministers, senior government officials, CEOs and other business representatives, international organizations, development banks, academics and civil society to discuss the development opportunities and challenges associated with the evolving digital economy.

Digital advances have already led to the creation of enormous wealth in record time, but this is highly concentrated in a small number of countries, companies and individuals. As the digital economy expands further there is a need to (re)think value creation and capture and redefine digital development strategies and policies.

During the 2020 eCommerce Week, we will explore some of these underlying questions:

  • Why is there a need to think beyond the digital divide to where value is created?
  • How to expand the scope for value creation and capture in the digital economy by developing countries?

Digital gaps present a development gap, which risks widening if adequate actions are not taken at national and global levels to spread the gains more evenly and help nations capture more value from the digital economy. What’s to be done?

For more background information on these issues, we invite you to read the first ever Digital Economy Report, which gives special attention to opportunities and challenges for developing countries to take advantage of the data-driven economy as producers and innovators – but also to the constraints they face – notably with regard to digital data and digital platforms.


“The digital revolution has transformed our lives and societies with unprecedented speed and scale, delivering immense opportunities as well as daunting challenges. New technologies can make significant contributions to realizing the Sustainable Development Goals, but we cannot take positive outcomes for granted. We must urgently improve international cooperation if we are to achieve the full social and economic potential of digital technology, while avoiding unintended consequences (…)

— Governments, civil society, academia, the scientific community and the technology industry must work together to find new solutions. Not a day passes for me without seeing the many ways in which digital technology can advance peace, human rights and sustainable development for all.”

António Guterres
Secretary-General, United Nations