The project’s objectives are twofold:
1) To deepen the understanding of policymakers, businesses, researchers and other stakeholders in FEALAC countries regarding the micro and macro dynamics of e-commerce goods and services marketplaces and the challenges and opportunities for MSMEs to participate in this new area of domestic and foreign trade.
2) Propose policy recommendations - based on a review of policies and regulations on cross-border e-commerce in FEALAC countries – on how to monitor and promote the participation of MSMEs in cross-border goods and services e-commerce.
This project benefits FEALAC member countries in both Southeast and East Asia and Latin America, building on existing work carried out by ECLAC and ESCAP. In the case of ECLAC, it has recently surveyed implemented e-commerce policies in Latin America, particular since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, showing that 9 out of 18 surveyed countries had a national strategy to promote and develop e-commerce. Of the other half, Argentina, Costa Rica, and Mexico indicated that the pandemic prompted the development of a national strategy, while the rest reported that a strategy was in progress. Moreover, ECLAC has worked on regulation on e-commerce in 13 countries in the region. This project would allow for the deepening and geographical broadening of its analysis of implemented policies and regulations.
In the case of ESCAP, it has, mainly in collaboration with the Asian Development Bank and OECD, jointly carried out research and analysis to provide policy advice to governments . Furthermore, ESCAP in collaboration with ADB and OECD have organized capacity building activities. The work on expanding and deepening digital trade regulatory analysis in FEALAC member States in Asia will significantly contribute to reducing regulatory distance and enhancing the opportunity of cross-border digital trade between all FEALAC economies. This project will also provide an opportunity to explore the impacts of COVID on the development of e-commerce in FEALAC member states in Asia and their policy implications.
Findings of the studies will be disseminated through multiple forums to ensure the visibility of the results and their policy implications. Finally, the project will include capacity building activities to ensure that analysts and policymakers from FEALAC countries are equipped with the right tools to efficiently use them to formulate better policies to enhance more sustainable and inclusive cross-border e-commerce strategies.