NEW REPORT LOOKS AT THE REALITIES OF E-COMMERCE IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES
A new report The Reality of E-commerce with Developing Countries by John Humphrey, Robin Mansell, Daniel Paré and Hubert Schmitz summarises the results of research led jointly by The London School of Economics and the Institute of Development Studies at Sussex, and funded by the UK Department for International Development under its Globalisation and Poverty research programme.
Based on research on e-marketplaces in the garments and horticulture sectors and on the experiences of firms in Bangladesh, Kenya and South Africa, this study examines the expectations and assumptions behind the drive to invest in B2B e-commerce. It investigates what actually happens in Internet-based e-marketplaces and how developing country firms use the Internet for business. The overall finding is that the main effect of B2B e-commerce is to enhance the relationships between existing trading partners. It does little to help forge ongoing relationships with new firms. There is a clear message for policy makers and practitioners - understanding how international trade is organised and how inter-firm relationships are developed is essential if the use of some types of B2B e-commerce is to assist producer firms in gaining more equitable access to international markets.