Report Summary

The G20 e-Trade Readiness Index, a new ranking published by The Economist Intelligence Unit and sponsored by eBay, looks at how prepared G20 countries are to capitalise on global e-trade opportunities.

At the top, the index shows Australia’s all-round strength, particularly its affordable Internet access, high smartphone penetration and use of electronic payment methods. Island nations fared well, making up three of the top five spots—as well as Australia, the UK came in fourth and Japan in fifth. These economies have long relied on international trade and look well-positioned to continue this with e-trade opportunities.

The report also warns that customs and regulatory restrictions could hamper SMEs’ ability to grow through e-trade. SMEs tend to ship smaller parcels to a variety of locations and cannot always benefit from shipping in bulk. Customs procedures in some countries can also be more trouble than they are worth for small packages.

Why read this report

  • Australia ranks top in the e-Trade Readiness Index
  • The report points to strength in affordable Internet access and high smartphone usage as being crucial
  • Island nations take three of the top five spots, with UK and Japan in fourth and fifth
  • Report also warns customs and regulation restrictions could hamper SME growth through e-trade
It’s clear that technology alone is not enough to allow e-trade to reach its full potential. Customs regimes across the globe are still aligned with the needs of big businesses and hampering SMEs. E-trade is a ripe opportunity for SMEs to compete with multinationals. They can be a key driver in its growth, but bureaucracy could be their biggest barrier.
Laurel West, Editorial Director, Economist Intelligence Unit


Published:July 13th 2014

Christopher Clague, Diane Alarcon
Laurel West

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