Global and regional implications of COVID-19 on e-commerce

March 25
12:30 pm 
– 2:00 pm


The eTrade for all initiative, in cooperation with ITC, UNCTAD, UNECA, UNECE, UNECLAC and UNESCWA.



How has the COVID-19 pandemic changed the global trade and e-commerce landscape?  UNCTAD, the United Nations regional commissions, and relevant partners of the eTrade for all initiative present major findings on the impacts, the challenges, and the way forward for recovery.


The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated digital transformations. Digital solutions are increasingly needed to continue some of the economic and social activities remotely. They have been critical for telemedicine, telework and online education, not least to keep alive our social ties in times of physical distancing.

E-commerce has also been experiencing a spike in growth in developing countries, with long-term implications. However, unless adequately addressed, existing digital divides are likely to result in even greater inequalities.

Against this background, a group of eTrade for all partners joined forces and produced a major study on the impact of COVID-19 on e-commerce and digital trade. This event offers a targeted dialogue to unveil its main findings at the global level complemented by the sharing of experiences at the regional level.



This event is part of the online “Aid for Trade Stocktaking Event” organized by the World Trade Organization on 23-25 March under theme 3: Digital connectivity and e-commerce.
The WTO Stocktaking event explores the trade-related challenges faced by developing and least developed countries during the COVID-19 pandemic and discusses measures to assist in building their trade capacity and recover from the crisis. More information on the WTO Stocktaking event can be found here.

This event is open to the public and requires registration online.





Moderation: Mr. Torbjörn Fredriksson, Chief of the ICT Policy Section, UNCTAD

Setting the scene (10 minutes)

How has the pandemic changed the global trade and e-commerce landscape – findings from the eTrade for all study: Global and regional implications of COVID-19 on e-commerce.

  • Ms. Shamika N. Sirimanne, Director of the Division on Technology and Logistics, UNCTAD

Harnessing the digital opportunities amid the COVID-19 crisis across regions (30 minutes)

Main findings and drivers for change

  • Mr. Ayman El-Sherbiny, Chief ICT Policies Section, ESCWA
  • Mr. Nanno Mulder, Chief International Trade Unit, ECLAC
  • Ms. Sandra Corcuera Santamaria, Customs and trade senior specialist, Inter-American Development Bank
  • Mr. Jamie MacLeod, Trade Policy Expert, ECA
  • Ms. Elisabeth Tuerk, Director, Economic Cooperation and Trade, ECE
  • ITC – Testimonials from MSMEs

Interactive Debate (40 minutes)

Discussants will address the following issues:

  • What policies and strategies can help e-commerce play a positive role for long-term response and recovery?
  • How to ensure that developing and least developed countries are not left further behind in the digital transformation?
  • How can the international community contribute to closing the digital gaps in the recovery phase?

Q&A (10 min)

Interaction with the audience and closing remarks




Stay tuned on our social media channels.

Tweet your comments and questions at #aid4trade and #eTradeforall.
Follow @UNCTAD and @ICT4DatUNCTAD.



Stay tuned on our Covid-19 and E-Commerce YouTube channel.