E-Commerce as an Economic Development Tool

E-Commerce as an Economic Development Tool

William Laraque

Managing Director at US-International Trade Services

Views 550

E-Commerce as an Economic Development Tool

06.06.2016 08:15 am
E-commerce can be an extraordinary job and economic development tool Regrettably the initial cross-border forays of Amazon and Alibaba have been debacles but they provide valuable, strategic lessons in "how to do it right." I expect that some will question my judgement relative to e-commerce debacles. The 50 biggest global e-commerce platforms have produced $4.6 trillion in profits in the past 4 years, 80% of which ended up in the US. 
Amazon which fell on its sword in China, hopes to invest $2 billion in India and has yet to make a profit there. Alibaba and Jack Ma, China's poster boy for e-commerce platform expansion, has successfully marshaled Chinese SMEs in using its platform for global expansion. Alibaba has also made superb use of logistics to supply the 200 lesser cities of China. Alibaba is plagued by a pesky counterfeit problem, where Chinese counterfeiters have used its platforms and undermined its credibility. The US SEC is examining Alibaba's accounting practices, its relationship with Cainaio; its logistics arm and Ant Financial, a spinoff of lucrative Alipay which Ma owns personally. Ant Financial is valued at $60 billion. 
Economic Development
The US, Europe and other nations have not capitalized on e-commerce as an avenue for a full participation in global trade by their SMEs. Very little has been done to develop the trade finance structure and capital goods trade settlement infrastructure of e-commerce platforms so that these provide the full array of financial alternatives for SMEs wishing to engage in importing, exporting and investing. 
As far as regulations are concerned, nothing has been done to reconcile e-commerce modes of trading with global trade regulations; with SWIFT and ICC rules. The major e-commerce platform providers have been thus far given carte blanche to self-regulate. 
E-commerce is a very powerful tool for global trade engagement. It touches on banking, on SWIFT's TSU, BPO, Supply Chain Finance,  the processes of export credit agencies and export credit insurance agencies. It touches on the work of the US Ex-Im Bank, on that of the US Commerce Dept. The prevailing ignorance regarding these relationships and a greater regard for the much-hyped blockchain, IoT, virtual reality, 3-D manufacturing and artificial intelligence developments, have eclipsed what has been a very lucrative cross-border enterprise for a relatively few providers and participants.

Latest blogs

N/A ReliaMax

College Dreams? Here’s How to Get Accepted

Higher education in the United States is not just about getting accepted, it is about where you get accepted. Sure, there are options, there are seemingly endless options - from community colleges to Ivy League schools and everything in between. The Read more »

Bobby Gill GCWealth

Bobby Gill: 3 Ways Fintech is Helping Small Businesses During the Pandemic

Image Source: Pixabay. Back in April, the US oil prices sank to a 20-year low. In the UK, road traffic levels hit a 70-year low. Worldwide, due to lockdown, retail, travel, and restaurant bookings have dropped by 85%. More than 430 million Read more »

Christa Ardley Bitstocks

Bitcoin and blockchain without the b******t

An industry once viewed by the general populace as a haven for criminals and online scammers, and still somewhat marred by fractious in-fighting, Bitcoin and blockchain are gradually casting off their outdated negative reputation; as the focus Read more »

Otabek Nuritdinov Safenetpay

Beyond Payments Services

    Why it really matters for small for medium-sized enterprise (SMEs) to choose the right payments services provider. Strategic planners in the financial services sector often define their business in terms of products that Read more »

Chak Kolli DXC Technology

How Can Insurers Realise the True Value of AI?

As Artificial Intelligence (AI) and digital transformation find their way into every aspect of our daily lives, we are gradually seeing changes taking place in different sectors. Progressively, AI is permeating the insurance value chain and it is Read more »

Related Blogs

Tristan Chiappini PPRO

Tigers versus Dragons - Asia’s booming e-commerce market and the challenge to China’s regional dominance

E-commerce is one of the greatest business success stories of the last decade. It has created jobs, injected new dynamism into our economies, created countless ‘unicorns’ and given people, who wouldn’t otherwise have had it, access to goods and Read more »

André Stoorvogel Rambus

5 Reasons Why E-commerce Sites Need a Token Gateway

Card-on-file (the process of collecting and storing payment card credentials) is fundamental to the card-not-present (CNP) ecosystem, facilitating the delivery of popular payment methods such as one-click ordering and recurring payments. Growing CNP Read more »

Ralf Ohlhausen PPRO Group

Western Europe: a Great E-commerce Opportunity for Ambitious UK Merchants?

Western Europe is thriving, thanks to the region’s highly developed banking infrastructure and the growing maturity of the market.  It’s home to 19 different countries that boast an average annual income of around $55,000 (compared to a world Read more »


Getting the Ball Rolling Again! England vs Russia

Once again, the UEFA European Championship is just a round the corner, and Europe will spend four weeks going football crazy as each team  takes  its turn on the international pitch. A UEFA European Championship, of course, means an entire month of Read more »

William Laraque US-International Trade Services

E-Commerce as an Economic Development Tool -II

E-commerce can be an extraordinary job and economic development tool. Regrettably, the initial cross-border forays of Amazon and Alibaba have been debacles but they provide valuable tactical and strategic lessons in "how to do it right."  The 50 Read more »

Free Newsletter Sign-up
+44 (0) 208 819 32 53 +44 (0) 173 261 71 47
Download Our Mobile App
Financial It Youtube channel