Opportunities and challenges for MSMEs in Caribbean cross-border e-commerce



Training policymakers in good practices to improve the capacities of MSMEs to participate in cross-border e-commerce.


  • To learn about recent developments and trends in domestic and cross-border e-commerce particularly since the beginning of the pandemic and to examine the barriers and challenges that MSMEs face in this type of international trade.
  • To understand the process of digital transformation and digital capacity-building of MSMEs for the effective implementation of cross-border e-commerce processes, systems and tools, along with the support that governments can offer through public policies aimed at this group of businesses.
  • To gain greater awareness of the obstacles that MSMEs face and the best practices in logistics and trade facilitation issues to speed up MSMEs’ access to international markets through cross-border e-commerce.
  • To understand the role of competition policy and competition laws to facilitate the entry and integration ofMSMEs as suppliers in regional and global value chains and identify anti-competitive practices that restrict market access.
  • To identify critical regulatory elements for data protection in the use of digital platforms and cyber security.


Five modules will be delivered through distance-learning courses utilising multimedia formats (reading guides, video tutorials, interviews) and interactive forms (virtual classes and discussion forums) to facilitate the understanding and learning of the course material. Each module ends with a small quiz.

This course is taught in English.


This course runs from November 8th, to December 10th, 2021. It has five weekly modules. The total academic load is approximately 25 hours. Each module includes reading materials, viewing tutorials and videos with interviews, participating in asynchronous virtual class, and conducting a brief exam with multiple-choice questions.


The course is aimed at staff members in charge ofMSME support programs including but not limited to:Trade Promotion Organizations, Single Windows,Government Ministries and Agencies in charge ofproductive development and MSMEs, personsinvolved in Competition Policy, Data Protection andcibersecurity in the Caribbean.


Module 1: Introduction

  • Definitions and characterisation of domestic and cross-border e-commerce
  • Main global and regional trends
  • Participation of regional MSMEs in e-commerce
  • The e-commerce institutional and public policy ecosystem

Module 2: Digital transformation and the role of e-commerce in MSMEs

  • Introduction to digital transformation
  • Strategies for the implementation of e-commerce in MSMEs
  • Roles and processes to implementing cross-border e-commerce in MSMEs
  • Digital tools for the implementation of cross-border e-commerce

Module 3: Logistical practices for agile cross-border e-commerce

  • Introduction to cross-border e-commerce logistics
  • Last-mile delivery: postal mail and courier companies
  • Introduction to e-commerce regulation
  • Single Windows (SW) in the development of cross-border e-commerce
  • E-commerce in preferential trade agreements in LAC

Module 4: The strategic importance of data for cross-border e-commerce

  • The importance of data for the development of MSMEs for access to digital platforms
  • National regulatory frameworks for the storage, use, and transfer of data
  • Data protection, privacy, and cybersecurity
  • Integration of data as a strategic asset for businesses (marketing, CRM, ERP, …)

Module 5: Competition conditions and policy in cross-border e-commerce

  • The importance of economic competition in the policy of support for MSMEs, particularly
  • in times of pandemic
  • Free-competition normative/regulatory framework
  • Competition policy in the digital era
  • The role of data, a strategic intangible asset for MSME businesses
  • Competition policy, cross-border data flow, digital platforms, and data protection