UNCTAD Policy Brief: Making Digital Platforms Work for Development

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The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) published a new policy brief that pinpoints the opportunities and challenges of digital platforms for development. the report notes that digital platforms can enhance efficiency through reducing transaction costs, decreasing customer prices, improving market access, ameliorating the use of underutilised resources, boosting flexibility for services provision, and promoting competition. Yet, the market power of certain digital platforms represents a challenge, let alone the pertinent ramifications on competition and consumer protection, data protection and privacy, taxation, and employment and working conditions. The report suggests that to capitalise on digital platforms and to address their social, political, and economic knock-on effects, such challenges should be tackled through sound policies and regulations. Further discussion on digital platforms for development is planned to take place during the global eCommerce Week 2019, 1-5 April at Palais des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland.

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