Bringing Digital Commerce to Developing Economies

By: Leyla Guilany-lyard, eBay News Team

eBay partners with International Trade Centre to help small firms reach global markets.

eBay has joined forces with the International Trade Centre (ITC) – a joint agency of the World Trade Organization and the United Nations -- to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in developing countries to take advantage of the opportunities offered by global digital commerce. 

eBay’s Vice President for Greater Europe, Eben Sermon, and ITC Executive Director, Arancha González, announced the collaboration at the annual meeting of ITC’s Joint Advisory Group in Geneva on July 4, 2016.

With more than 162 million active users globally, and 900 million product listings, eBay’s marketplace provides a perfect match for export-ready companies supported by ITC’s e-Solutions program. The program provides training and advisory services to SMEs in developing countries to help them overcome barriers to trade and trade digitally.

ITC helps SMEs to become more competitive in global markets, contributing to sustainable economic development within the frameworks of the Aid-for-Trade agenda and the United Nations’ Global Goals for Sustainable Development.

Under the agreement, eBay’s marketplace will give these companies the opportunity to open ‘anchor stores’ on eBay – providing them with greater online visibility, and the chance to reach more customers. 

SMEs participating in ITC’s e-Solutions program will also have access to eBay’s network of fulfillment centers, making logistics more cost-effective. And they’ll benefit from eBay’s cutting-edge e-commerce research, allowing them to leverage this knowledge and better position their offerings in selected target markets.

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“Partnering with eBay is an important step in scaling up ITC's e-Solutions program and will help us to continue to bring SMEs onto the digital highway,” Arancha González said.

“Together we will collaborate to provide tools and platforms to SMEs throughout the developing world to help them take advantage of the opportunities offered by the digital economy.”

eBay’s Vice President for Greater Europe, Eben Sermon added: “Collaborating with ITC allows eBay to connect with enterprises in developing countries that are currently absent from the world of e-commerce. It is a model for Connected Commerce that can contribute to better trade and economic growth where it is most needed, and it will open up a world of new products for our customers across the world.”

eBay will also provide training -- to complement that offered by ITC – aimed at helping companies to optimize their product listings; providing insights into best practices in online promotion, and improving skills in analytics and inventory management.

Kick-starting the partnership, eBay and ITC -- in collaboration with logistics company DHL -- have organized an e-Commerce Caravan that is currently touring Switzerland. 

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In Geneva, from June 30 to July 5, entrepreneurs from Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Morocco, Rwanda, Senegal and Syria will be showcasing products that sold online. On July 6 and 7, the e-Commerce Caravan will be at eBay’s headquarters in Zurich.