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Alejandro Jara, Senior Counsel of King &Spalding, former DDG of the WTO


E-Commerce contributes to international trade from both supply and demand sides because it does not only lower the entry threshold for SMEs to engage in international trade but also give consumers more access to foreign products. Some developing countries such as China are among the leading countries taking advantage of electronic commerce. However, electronic commerce is facing a range of policy and practical challenges in both importing and exporting countries, restraining the potential of SMEs' engagement in cross-border business. This is in particular true for lower income developing countries and SMEs therein.

The session is going to address the contributions of electronic commerce to more participation of SMEs in international trade as well as policy and practical challenges facing the development of electronic commerce. While the traditional cross-border trade barriers such as tariffs are still applicable to electronic commerce, some obstacles specifically on electronic commerce have to be dealt with appropriately. It would be a major question about what the WTO and its Members could do within and beyond the current framework to improve the interaction between E-commerce and SMEs' participation in international trade.


  • Daniel Crosby, Partner, King &Spalding
  • Xinquan Tu, Dean and Professor, China Institute for WTO Studies, University of International Business and Economics
  • Marcos Vaena, Chief, Enterprise Competitiveness, Division of Business and Institutional Support, ITC
  • Xiankun Lu, Partner, IDEAS Centre Geneva
  • Torbjörn Fredriksson, Chief, ICT Analysis Section of the Division on Technology and Logistics at UNCTAD