A Map of Global Technology-Enabled Cross-Border Trade

Usman Ahmed, Public Policy Counsel at eBay Inc.

Participation in international trade has traditionally been a privilege reserved for the world’s largest merchants, but the Internet is changing this. Through a global network of technology solutions and services, like eBay and PayPal, entrepreneurs and businesses of all sizes are increasingly able to reach beyond their physical locations and access customers all around the world. This new technology-enabled cross-border trade in turn has powerful economic and social impacts, particularly for small businesses.

Since 2012, eBay Inc. has conducted research across several key regions that examines the effect that Internet-enabled trade has had on the economic opportunity for entrepreneurs and businesses. And this week, through our participation in the Global Entrepreneurship Congress in Milan, Italy, we’ve been able to share what we’ve seen and learned to date. Today, in tandem with a “Research + Policy Talk” I gave on this topic, we released an interactive map that synthesizes our headline findings from across the 17 countries we’ve researched so far: Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Peru, South Africa, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Kingdom and the United States. The statistics and insights we’re sharing through this map were gathered from our reports over the past two years, which have examined eBay and PayPal data from these countries.

As you’ll see, our top-level finding is that technology-enabled businesses export more, to more countries, with greater growth rates, and survive longer than their offline competitors. We also see that these trends hold true regardless of the size of the business, which means that technology is helping create a more inclusive economic future, one where every entrepreneur and business can enjoy the benefits of a global consumer base. 

The map also features success stories from merchant exporters who have been able to pursue new growth opportunities through cross-border trade, as well as links to all our research reports to date (these reports can also be found on the eBay Inc. Main Street site here). We invite you to interact with the content and see for yourself the tremendous positive impact that technology has in helping businesses of all sizes in all parts of the world participate in the global economy.

Feel free to share, and let us know what you think!