Report: Protectionism Could Cool Cross-Border E-Commerce Growth

Jan. 19, 2015

Report: Protectionism Could Cool Cross-Border E-Commerce Growth A recent report, commissioned by the Global Express Association (GEA) warns that a return to protectionist policies could hinder the growth of global e-commerce. Geneva-based GEA, a trade group representing the interests of international delivery companies DHL, Fedex, TNT and UPS, predicted global e-commerce would grow from $1.4 trillion in 2013 to $2.3 trillion in 2017. In addition to looking at global and regional growth numbers, Express Delivery and Trade Facilitation: Impacts on the Global Economy also examined cross-border e-commerce and how international express delivery enables small and midsize merchants to engage in global trade.

However, the report also noted many developed countries are moving away from free trade principles, which could temper growth in cross-border e-commerce.

“The rise in protectionism or delays in reform could hinder the realization of the e-commerce expansion, which is expected to be a key driver of economic growth,” the report said. “As e-commerce is likely to make up an increasing proportion of trade and customs capabilities are important for facilitating e-commerce, this suggests that the impact of improving [customs capabilities] on trade could be increasing in the future.”