E-commerce Services & Digital Economy - UNIDO

E-commerce Services & Digital Economy - UNIDO

Information dated: 2017

Mr. WANG Zhen

Chief, Asia and the Pacific Division

Tel: +43-1 26026-3716

E-mail: Z.Wang [at] unido.org

E-commerce development in BRICS

UNIDO is mandated to promote inclusive and sustainable industrial development (ISID) in developing countries and economies in transition, with a special focus on the promotion of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which constitute more than 90 per cent of businesses worldwide and account for between 50 and 60 per cent of employment. SMEs contribute significantly to employment, equitable distribution of incomes and economic development. E-commerce unleashes opportunities for SMEs to participate in international trade, facilitates SMEs to access information for cross-border investment

In July 2016, UNIDO initiated the project “Promote the development and cooperation of SMEs between China and other BRICS countries through e-commerce development (pilot phase)”, with the objective to facilitate cooperation and exchange amongst SMEs in BRICS countries, in particular in the area of e-business development. Funded by the Government of China, the project is implemented in coordination with the China International Centre for Economic and Technical Exchanges (CICETE), the Ministry of Commerce of China Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences (SASS) and China Center for Promotion of SMEs/Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), China. The project will also explore and develop mechanisms for ensuring that the necessary enabling conditions are in place for international e-commerce trade, such as platforms for import and export promotions.

The initial activities of the project are to assess the current status of e-commerce and to develop a mechanism to bring SMEs in BRICS countries together, especially in the area of e-commerce. During the pilot phase of project, UNIDO has compiled BRICS national reports on e-commerce development and a BRICS Joint Report on E-commerce Development, in cooperation with the International Trade Centre (ITC). In addition, UNIDO and the SASS established a research center to engage e-commerce experts from China and around the world in providing strategic advices for promoting cooperation in e-commerce between China and other BRICS countries.

Furthermore, UNIDO’s objective is to establish the “BRICS E-commerce Industry Alliance” of SMEs to promote e-commerce development in the BRICS. The objective of the Alliance is to facilitate cross-border digital trade in BRICS countries through the exchange of best practice, knowledge sharing and technology transfer to promote e-commerce among Alliance members.

In collaboration with SASS, the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) and the ministries of commerce of BRICS countries will strengthen capacity building of e-commerce development in BRICS through networking establishment and technical support centres.

Moreover, UNIDO’s e-commerce promotion activities include a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Forum on BRICS e-commerce and a SMEs match making event in September 2017, in cooperation with the China International Fair for Investment and Trade. This event will promote cooperation between public and private sectors in the area of e-commerce, as well as cooperation and development among SMEs in BRICS.