The Norwegian Permanent Mission to the WTO and EFTA participated in the third edition of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development’s (UNCTAD) week-long conference on electronic commerce (‘eCommerce Week’). The conference took place in Geneva from the 24th to the 28th of April, this year with the theme "Towards Inclusive E-commerce". There has been a clear rise in interest for the event which was attended by participants from 99 countries this year compared to 49 countries last year.
UNCTAD estimates that the global value of e-commerce has reached $25 trillion in 2015, and that e-commerce holds significant potential for sustainable and inclusive growth, including for developing and least-developed countries (LDCs). Having access to the digital realm could also reduce barriers of entry, and therefore aid the integration of women, young people, and micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSME) into global value chains.
UNCTAD’s eCommerce Week is significant because it brings together participants from international organizations, governments, and the private sector to exchange views and create a dialogue on how policymakers should proceed to facilitate the growth of the sector. The conference also saw high-level participation, and included a high-level event attended by several ministers and with panelists such as the UNCTAD’s secretary general Mukhisa Kituyi, the WTO’s director general Roberto Azevêdo as well as the founder and executive chairman of the Alibaba group Jack Ma.
Norway considers the topic of e-commerce to be highly relevant and important, and continues to follow developments and take part in discussions in Geneva
For more information, see UNCTADs website:
See also WTOs website on electronic commerce: