Find out what ICC has in store for UNCTAD’s e-commerce week

  • 16 April 2018

E-commerce week gets underway in Geneva this week converging over 1000 participants – including government officials, CEOs and international organisations - to discuss development opportunities and challenges associated with the evolving digital economy.

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) event is set to take place under the theme “Development Dimensions of Digital Platforms”, and will take an in-depth look at the growing role of digital technologies in doing business across borders and evaluate concrete steps to harness opportunities for sustainable development.

As the world business organization, the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) has a busy week of engagement ahead.

Here are five key activities for UNCTAD e-commerce week:

1. Expanding e-commerce capacity for a sustainable 2030

Empirical research finds that 75% of Internet impact in terms of economic value arises from companies operating in traditional industries. The challenges that can prevent developing countries benefitting from e-commerce will be addressed at an ICC side event “Expanding e-commerce capacity for a sustainable 2030 on Tuesday 17 April.

The event, from 13:15-14:45, will also offer global business insights into effective policy options with speakers from the government of Brazil, government of Latvia, BT, Mercado Libre, Mastercard and B2W.

2. Amplifying the role of business in the Global Goals

A ministerial roundtable on Tuesday will examine digital impacts on sustainable development. To successfully leverage digital technologies for sustainable development, ICC says governments need to understand how the information and communication technology (ICT) ecosystem works in practice. ICC’s recent paper on ICT, Policy and Sustainable Economic Development explains how this would drive well-informed and future-orientated policy approaches.

3. Supporting the economic empowerment of women

To ride the wave of e-commerce potential, women should have meaningful access to and use of digital technologies. UNCTAD’s e-commerce week will include several sessions on the role of women in e-commerce, including a ministerial roundtable: Advancing Women’s Digital Opportunities. During e-commerce week, ICC will amplify how businesses can play a key role in advancing the digital future of women.

4. Helping micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) do business

Studies show that MSMEs deploying ICT get to productivity much faster and that a component of digital services is present in the productivity of all hard goods. Yet there is evidence of a clear lack of ICT dissemination among MSMEs in developing countries. ICC will raise awareness of the barriers MSMEs face to e-commerce and highlight findings from the Small Business Champions initiative launched last year with the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

5. Exploring the use of technology in international trade

ICC Brazil is set to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with UNCTAD on Monday, marking the second phase of the Intelligent Tech and Trade Initiative (ITTI), a multistakeholder initiative founded by ICC Brazil Chairman Daniel Feffer last year.

“Creating ITTI is an essential move that can drive trade beyond existing roadblocks. I’m certain blockchain and AI will boost trade growth. These technologies can help both small- and medium enterprises and emerging markets seize a bigger piece of the global trade pie,” Mr Feffer commented.

The initiative seeks to explore how new technologies, including Artificial Intelligence (AI) and blockchain, can help boost trade growth. The topic will be addressed in detail in the panel on “Intelligent Tech & Trade Tools: from Trade Logistics to a WTO E-Commerce Agreement”, with speakers from ICC Brazil, UNCTAD, Huawei, B2W, the World Economic Forum and the government of Costa Rica.