UNCTAD evaluation highlights LDCs progress, implementation gaps on e-commerce development

The UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) released its first comprehensive review of its eTrade Readiness Assessment Programme titled Fast-tracking implementation of eTrade Readiness Assessments, which identify and address the challenges to the development of e-commerce, especially in least developed countries (LDCs). The report assesses the implementation measures taken vis-à-vis earlier recommendations made in seven policy areas: e-commerce readiness and strategy formulation; information and communication technology (ICT), infrastructure and services, trade facilitation and logistics, legal and regulatory framework, payment solutions, skills development, and access to financing. The report shows that implementation of the recommendations is moving at varying speeds. The overall implementation rate in the 13 surveyed countries stands at 50%, with Cambodia, Myanmar, Senegal, and Togo, ranked as the best performers. Lower implementation rates are due to challenges related to weak institutional capacity and policy co-ordination mechanisms which hinder the proper follow-up at the national level and the further implementation of recommendations.