E-COMMERCE REVOLUTION MUST INCLUDE SMALL BUSINESS, SAYS UNCTAD SECRETARY-GENERAL

New York, 2016-Sep-21 — /EPR Retail News/ — Entrepreneurs and small business must be included in the e-commerce revolution, an exciting opportunity to create jobs and livelihoods all around the world, the UNCTAD Secretary-General said ahead of a meeting on small business and e-trade
(http://unctad.org/en/Pages/MeetingDetails.aspx?meetingid=1193) .

With the global economy now in its sixth sluggish year of growth, many are
hoping that e-commerce can generate the jobs and livelihoods that more
traditional work has been unable to provide. Last year the global market
for electronic commerce was worth around $22.1 trillion, up 38 percent
from 2013.

“E-commerce is a train that has left the station and is quickly gathering
speed,” UNCTAD Secretary-General Mukhisa Kituyi said.

“The challenge is to get as many people aboard this train as possible, so
that e-commerce can usefully contribute to inclusive growth,” he added,
referring to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and goal 8 in
particular.

Dr. Kituyi was speaking ahead of a high-level conversation, entitled
“Empowering SMEs through e-Trade and Investment Facilitation” at the UN
Headquarters in New York on 20 September. Speakers at the event include:
Dr. Kituyi; Jack Ma, UN Special Advocate on the SDGs: Robert Azevedo,
Director General of the World Trade Organization (WTO), and Alicia
Barcena, Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America
and the Caribbean (ECLAC) will also be speaking.

The conversation will look at ways to engage entrepreneurs and small
business in the e-trade revolution.

By connecting untapped markets through internet and mobile network
platforms, online commerce can allow entrepreneurs and small business to
produce and trade goods and services, source inputs, reach customers and
clients, and connect to global and regional value chains.

But a huge gap is opening up between countries and firms that are able to
exploit these opportunities and those that cannot. Existing platforms and
rules for global trade are skewed towards the interests of large
corporations, leaving few opportunities for small and medium-sized
enterprises.

The conversation takes place just two months after UNCTAD’s work on
e-commerce took a significant jump forward with the July launch of the
e-Trade for All initiative (http://unctad.org/en/Pages/PressRelease.aspx?OriginalVersionID=308) at the UNCTAD 14 Conference in Nairobi. The initiative brings together 15 international organizations and 22 private sector actors together, easing developing country access to cutting edge technical assistance and giving donors more options for funding.

The initiative also supports the December 2015 call by the UN General
Assembly to better use information and communication technology to achieve the SDGs.

Contacts:
UNCTAD Communications and Information Unit
+41 22 917 58 28
+41 79 502 43 11
unctadpress@unctad.org (mailto:unctadpress@unctad.org) ,
http://unctad.org/press

Source:  UNCTAD