Switzerland climbs to top of global e-commerce index

The UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) released its Business-to-Consumer E-commerce Index 2020 which ranks 152 countries on their readiness to engage in online commerce. According to the report, Switzerland replaced the Netherlands at the top of the index. While the 10 developing countries with the highest scores are all from Asia and classified as high-income or upper-middle-income economies, the least developed countries occupy 18 of the bottom 20 positions. Despite that they are falling behind in relative comparisons, China and the United States are the two largest B2C e-commerce markets globally, ranked 55th and 12th respectively, and are on top of several absolute measures. For example, they are lagging behind in internet penetration and online shopping compared to the top ten countries in the index. ‘The e-commerce divide remains huge. The COVID-19 pandemic has made it more urgent to ensure the countries trailing behind are able to catch up and strengthen their e-trade readiness. Otherwise, their businesses and people will miss out on the opportunities offered by the digital economy, and they will be less prepared to deal with various challenges,’ noted UNCTAD director of the division that prepares the annual index Shamika N. Sirimanne.