The Development Dimension of E-Commerce in Asia: Opportunities and Challenges

Publication | June 2016

E-commerce lowers barriers to entry by eliminating certain costs related to having a physical storefront. It connects the supply side to the demand side without the traditional physical limitations and without certain transaction costs.

E-commerce is the sale and purchase of goods and services through electronic networks and the internet, encompassing a broad range of commercial activity. While widespread adoption of e-commerce in advanced economies is evident, physical and institutional barriers to its application in developing countries must first be overcome. Governments, multilateral organizations, and the private sector must cooperate in fostering an environment that is conducive to its implementation.

Key points

  • E-commerce facilitates trade and leads to job creation, which lead to economic growth.
  • Multilateral organizations, national governments, and private firms contribute to its widespread adoption and sophistication.
  • Inadequate infrastructure and disharmonious regulatory procedures restrain Asia from fully realizing the potential of crossborder digital trade.
  • International cooperation and a more focused national strategy are needed to further e-commerce.
Policy Brief 2016-2

Additional Details

  • Industry and trade
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • 2411-6734