Global Electronic Commerce: the face positions a new deal

Africa Link Special Reports

SWITZERLAND – The promise of increased global trade growth, resulting from the recent agreement Bali pushes postal services to listen carefully and customers to work more closely with all stakeholders to meet the demands of consumers and traders wishing to take advantage of potential offered by global electronic commerce.

 Listen to your customers, offer integrated mail solutions and insert clearance procedures and simplified and reliable distribution: this was heard from several participants at the Forum on Global Electronic Commerce, held on 26 and 27 March 2014 by the Universal Postal Union universal, specialized UN agency for postal services.

More than 250 delegates representing member of the UN family, including the World Customs Organization (WCO), the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and giants of online business, e-commerce associations and positions have shed light on the challenges of cross-border e-commerce, which is in its infancy compared to online trading nationally.

The findings were clear: to ride the wave, players must enter early in the game and a coordinated approach. "E-commerce needs efficient, intelligent and secure networks, and this requires the cooperation of all stakeholders," said Bishar A. Hussein, Director General of the UPU.

Noting that one of the objectives of the UPU is to promote the development of trade in touting the proximity and extent of postal networks and their proven logistics capabilities, the leader of the UPU called the global postal network "King of networks. "

Bishar Hussein, however, recognized the challenges of cross-border trade and the importance of reducing customs and operational barriers. "We need to provide a quality service, fast, trustworthy and reliable," he has said, before inviting the heads of the organizations responsible for customs, telecommunications and trade cooperation with the postal order improve connectivity in developing countries, to create standards for mobile payments and reducing border barriers.

"E-commerce is changing the situation," said the Secretary General of the World Customs Organization Kunio Mikuriya. "It shows a greater distribution of the number of small parcels, which poses challenges and opportunities for postal services and customs. Our mission is to facilitate the exchange of goods, while protecting citizens from dangerous or prohibited goods. That's why we work with the UPU is and use ICT to collect more data and manage risk. "

According to statistics from the UPU's 192 posts member countries have dealt alone 61 million international parcels in 2012, 5% more than the previous year. Moreover, parcels and logistics services accounted for 17% of total income positions in 2012, against only 9% in 2002.

Sales of products bought online (business to consumer) should reach U.S. $ 2 trillion by 2020, according to the latest estimates. The first analyzes of the UPU database on postal exchanges globally indicate that cross-border e-commerce is promising on corridors in North and South America, Europe and Asia. But partners should also help regions such as Africa and the Arab countries to benefit from the economic growth of this growing market.

Because the potential exists. The forum highlighted the case of Nigeria, who knows breakneck economic growth and the rise of a middle class able to purchase products, said Sim Shagaya, CEO of, a flat- popular form of e-commerce in Nigeria. "Africa will be familiar with retailing through e-commerce," said one whose business is to use the position of Nigeria for the distribution of goods purchased online in rural areas of the country in particular.

If the dialogue is well underway on a global scale, it must also be established at the regional and national levels, said Deputy Director General of the UPU, Pascal Clivaz. "We need to provide the promised support for small and medium businesses so they can grow through regulations and procedures simple and reliable."

The close collaboration between the UPU and WCO has already led to greater sharing upstream data on arrivals international parcels to expedite clearance and distribution.

The UPU and ITU are also committed to developing international standards for mobile payments and work to resolve connectivity issues for developing countries and least developed countries to participate more actively in the global electronic commerce.

Having anticipated the rise of electronic commerce and trade as well as the need for simplified and integrated mail solutions, UPU, at its Congress in Doha in 2012, has created different groups, under the auspices of the Postal Operations Council, to study issues related to services and electronic commerce and propose solutions to the key challenges facing staff and other stakeholders. The creation of an international service for the return of goods is in progress, among other activities.

Photo: (r) Bishar A. Hussein, Director General UPU and Hamadoun I. Touré Secretary General, ITU by Manu Friederich