E-commerce booms, equal benefit absence: Unctad

Bangladesh ranks 115th in e-commerce Index 2020

Staff Correspondent

4 May, 2021 12:00 AM printer

Digital benefit was not enjoyed equally by people across worldwide, though Covid-19 pandemic provided a boost for e-commerce last year, a UN study found on Monday.

"Although it will take some time to get the full picture of the impact of corona on e-commerce. A number of developments point to the strong rise in e-commerce in 2020," said the report by the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

The study crunched data from seven economies of Australia, Britain, Canada, China, Singapore, South Korea and the United States representing some two-thirds of online trade.

Online sales rose 59 percent in Australia, 46.7 percent in Britain, 32.4 percent in the United States, and 14.6 percent in China. 

Turnover rose by 22.4 percent last year to $2.5 trillion, having increased by some 15 percent in 2018-19, Untad said.

Recently, the Bangladesh ranked 115th, down from 103rd in 2019.

Bangladesh slipped 12 notches on the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development's (Unctad) Business-to-Consumer (B2C) E-commerce Index 2020 due to infrastructure deficiency.

Regarding the report of Unctad, BASIS E-Commerce Alliance convener Mostafizur Rahaman Sohel said that Bangladesh is yet to develop the infrastructure for the perfect growth of the ecommerce, though the pandemic situation drives the sector.

The report author Torbjorn Fredriksson said that the statistics show the growing importance of online activities.

A standout performer was Jumia, Africa's online retail giant, whose transactions jumped by more than 50 percent in volume in the first six months of 2020 compared with the first half of 2019, Fredriksson said.

They also underscore the need for countries, especially developing states, to use such data as they rebuild from the pandemic, said Shamika Sirimanne, head of UNCTAD's technology and logistics section, in a statement.