Story image

Inclusive globalisation the next step for e-commerce

02 May 2017

In today's fast changing political and economic landscape, many countries are grappling with the impact of the digital economy and the opportunities it presents for global growth and inclusive development.

A huge gap has opened up between countries and companies that are able to seize these opportunities and those that cannot.

The existing platforms and rules for global trade are highly skewed towards the interests of large corporations, leaving few opportunities for small and medium-sized enterprises - accounting for about 80 percent of all businesses - to benefit from the new opportunities.

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development last week held a panel discussion on the topic ‘Digital Transformation for All: Empowering Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses.’

Members of the panel were UNCTAD Secretary-General Dr. Mukhisa Kituyi, AliBaba group founder and chairman and UNCTAD Special Advisor for Young Entrepreneurs Jack Ma, World Trade Organization Director-General Roberto Azevêdo, International Telecommunications Union Secretary-General Houlin Zhao and Consumers International Director-General Amanda Long.

"E-commerce provides many opportunities for growth in the developing world, but we need to seize those opportunities now," Dr. Kituyi says.

Moderated by award-winning BBC journalist Nancy Kacungira, the discussion covered topics ranging from job creation, e-commerce trade regulations, strategies for making e-commerce more inclusive, increasing digital infrastructure and more.

"I believe globalisation is good but needs to be improved,” Ma says.

“What if, in the next thirty years, we can help support twenty million small businesses to do business across borders?”

“We need inclusive globalisation," Ma adds.

They also highlighted some of the on-the-ground issues faced by countries attempting to enable an environment for e-commerce development.

"We have two challenges at WTO on e-commerce,” Azevêdo says.

“One is defining what e-commerce means for everyone and two is inclusivity in trade for small and medium enterprises.”

During the two-hour panel, the speakers suggested new ideas for leveraging e-commerce technologies and e-commerce solutions for sustainable development.

"We have the B20, but we need the B200, to create rules and laws to support the small guys, not control them," says Ma, referring to the group creating private sector policy recommendations for the G20. 

"Over the past 20 years, we have witnessed the mistakes of celebrating opportunity without facing challenges. The phenomenal rise of e-commerce must be saved from a similar fate," says Dr. Kituyi.

Cloud application attacks in Q1 up by 65% - Proofpoint
Proofpoint found that the education sector was the most targeted of both brute-force and sophisticated phishing attempts.
Huawei picks up accolades for software-defined camera ecosystem
"The company's software defined capabilities enable it to future-proof its camera ecosystem and greatly lower the total cost of ownership (TCO), as its single camera system is applicable to a variety of application use cases."
Gartner: Good talent put off by old tech
Technology now ranks in the top ten reasons Australian employees will leave their current role, according to Gartner’s 4Q18 Global Talent Monitor.
App downtime costs businesses over $700k per event
One hour of business-critical application downtime can cost larger companies $144,062.52 per hour, with an average repair time of over five hours.
Why application downtime costs Aussie businesses more than $762,000 on average
“These findings highlight the critical need for all Australian businesses to ensure ongoing monitoring of applications."
How AI is changing the medical industry
With NVIDIA Clara, developers can speed up their medical imaging applications and implement AI.
The Data Literacy Project expands its library of free courses
Upskilling the workforce in data literacy is fundamental to unlocking business growth.
Digital experience managers, get excited for Adobe Summit 2019
“Digital transformation may be a buzzword, but companies are trying to adapt and compete in this changing environment.”