In the changing global marketplace, electronic commerce (e-commerce) is a powerful driver of economic growth, inclusive trade and job creation for all, including in the least developed countries (LDCs). However, while there is significant potential for growth through e-commerce, many people and small and medium-sized enterprises in LDCs are not in a position to use the Internet, in particular broadband, due to a lack of e-commerce infrastructure and other barriers. Therefore, they cannot effectively leverage e-commerce to seize economic opportunities. How to assess the readiness of LDCs to engage in and benefit from e-commerce is crucial for the formulation of relevant strategies and policies to harness its power for economic growth and sustainable development.
The Rapid eTrade Readiness Assessment project for LDCs is helping beneficiaries take stock of their development in information and communications technology and e-commerce along seven key policy areas (etradeforall.org), make better sense of the supply of capacity-building from the international community and sequence and prioritize the assistance they require from donor communities. Finally, the assessments will enable LDCs to take a more active part in the international discussions on e-commerce, such as in the context of the World Trade Organization.
The course is divided into two parts. Part one will provide an overview of e-commerce and the rapid eTrade readiness assessments contributing to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, in particular Goals 5b, 8.3, 9.3 and 17.11. Part two will involve the presentation of case studies extracted from rapid e-trade readiness assessments.