UN: Developing Countries Need to Share in $22 Trillion E-Commerce Pie

July 21, 2016

UN: Developing Countries Need to Share in $22 Trillion E-Commerce Pie An international organization pegged the total global e-commerce market at more than $22 trillion and wants developing countries to share in that opportunity. In 2015, according to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the vast majority of global e-commerce spending ($19.9 trillion) was B2B, while consumers worldwide (principally in China and the U.S.) spent the remaining $2.2 trillion. The total was up 38 percent from 2013, the group said. On Tuesday, UNCTAD launched an initiative called eTrade for All that will bring governments, private businesses and international charities together to ensure the gap between developing and developed e-commerce markets shrinks.

While several developing countries are well represented in the top 10 global markets measured by number of online buyers (China at number one, followed by Brazil at 6, Russia at 7 and India at 10), many emerging countries are hampered by very low rates of online shopping adoption.

“A huge divide is opening between countries that are exploiting those opportunities and those that are not,” said UNCTAD Secretary-General Mukhisa Kituyi. “I am delighted by this collaboration with our partners, which finally gives the global community an effective platform for helping developing countries access and benefit from e-commerce.”

The UNCTAD numbers show how thoroughly China and the U.S. dominate global e-commerce. Including B2B and B2C sales, those two countries accounted for $9.3 trillion of the $22.1 trillion total spent online last year.