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February 17, 2021

Switzerland Climbs to Top of Global E-Commerce Index

Switzerland replaced the Netherlands at the top of UNCTAD’s Business-to-Consumer (B2C) E-commerce Index 2020, which ranks 152 countries on their readiness to engage in online commerce.


Unctad, Switzerland

Photo: Switzerland. Swiss cows: Image credit: Nestlé.


Unctad, Switzerland

Photo: Switzerland. Image credit: Eugene Kaspersky.


Geneva, 17 February 2021 - Europe remains by far the most prepared region for e-commerce, according to UNCTAD’s Business-to-Consumer (B2C) E-commerce Index 2020.

For the first time, Switzerland leads the UNCTAD B2C E-commerce Index, just ahead of the Netherlands. In 2019, 97% of the Swiss population used the internet. The only non-European economies among the top 10 are Singapore, ranked fourth, and Hong Kong (China) in the 10th position.

The index scores 152 nations on their readiness for online shopping, worth an estimated $4.4 trillion globally in 2018, up 7% from the previous year.

Countries are scored on access to secure internet servers, reliability of postal services and infrastructure, and the portion of their population that uses the internet and has an account with a financial institution or mobile money services provider.

• Developing countries: Asia leads the pack.

The ten developing countries with the highest scores are all from Asia and classified as high-income or upper-middle-income economies.

At the other end of the spectrum, least developed countries occupy 18 of the bottom 20 positions.

The two largest B2C e-commerce markets globally, China and the United States, rank 55th and 12th respectively in the index. Although both countries lead in several absolute measures, they lag in relative comparisons.

“The e-commerce divide remains huge,” said Shamika N. Sirimanne, director of UNCTAD’s division that prepares the annual index. “Even among G20 countries, the extent to which people shop online ranges from 3% in India to 87% in the United Kingdom.”

Also, in Canada, the United States, and 10 European nations, more than 70% of the adult population makes purchases online. But that proportion is well below 10% in most low- and lower-middle-income countries.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has made it more urgent to ensure the countries trailing behind can catch up and strengthen their e-trade readiness,” Ms. Sirimanne said. The index, she said, underscores governments’ need to ensure more people can avail themselves of e-commerce opportunities.

“Otherwise, their businesses and people will miss out on the opportunities offered by the digital economy, and they will be less prepared to deal with various challenges,” she added.

• Changes in the 2020 rankings

The 2020 edition of the index includes a few notable changes from the previous year. In the composition of the top 10 positions, Hong Kong (China) replaced Australia. Among the top 10 developing economies, Oman replaced Turkey.

The four most considerable increases in index scores are in developing countries - Algeria, Brazil, Ghana, and Lao People’s Democratic Republic. Their scores surged by at least five points, primarily due to significant improvements in postal reliability.

Costa Rica became the best performer in the Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) region, replacing Chile. Mauritius remained the highest scorer in sub-Saharan Africa, while Belarus again got the highest score among transition economies.

• Particular focus on Latin America and the Caribbean

The 2020 index takes a closer look at the LAC region, which accounts for 9% of the world’s population aged 15 and older and as much as 11% of the world’s internet users. However, the region’s share of global online shoppers was only 6% of the worldwide total in 2019.

The UNCTAD report notes that five countries account for 92% of online shoppers in LAC, much higher than their share (72%) of the region’s population. Postal unreliability is the region’s most prominent e-commerce infrastructural weakness, particularly in the Caribbean.

As seen globally, COVID-19 has boosted online shopping in the region. For example, 7.3 million Brazilians shopped online for the first time during the pandemic. And in Argentina, the number of first-time online buyers during the pandemic was equivalent to 30% of the 2019 online shopping base.

• Top 10 economies in the UNCTAD B2C E-commerce Index 2020

  1. Switzerland
  2. Netherlands
  3. Denmark
  4. Singapore
  5. United Kingdom
  6. Germany
  7. Finland
  8. Ireland
  9. Norway
  10. China, Hong Kong SAR

Source: UNCTAD

|GlobalGiants.Com|


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Edited & Posted by the Editor | 3:14 PM | Link to this Post






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