In 2013, the global worth of business-to-business e-commerce exceeded $15 trillion while business-to consumer reaching $1.2 trillion. These measures from the UNCTAD Information Economy Report 2015 reflect the potential for an e-commerce boom in the coming years.
Thailand is one country that presents a unique opportunity for e-commerce growth. The country is one of few that develop countrywide statistics in this market segment. This kind of focus has helped Thailand recognise what sectors boost economic growth in the country.
The National Statistics Office of Thailand and UNCTAD Information Economy Report 2015 reported that in 2013, around 1 million Thai citizens shopped online during the year. The revenues from business-to-consumer transactions amounted to $3.9 billion total.
These numbers demonstrate the growing demand for e-commerce across the country. The Government of Thailand is working to improve the accessibility of e-commerce. This will help facilitate an increase in electronic transactions, thus, boosting economic benefit from this market.
UNCTAD has begun to take on an advisory role to the Electronic Transactions Development Agency (ETDA) of Thailand. Through this capacity, it helped the country host an International Workshop on Measuring E-Commerce at the end of October.
Various participants, such as Brazil, Canada, Finland, European Union, the Republic of Korea, and others, came to Bangkok to share methodologies and tactics on measuring e-commerce. Topics discussed, included: definitions of e-commerce, measuring e-commerce using surveys, e-commerce sub-categories, survey coverage by enterprise size, class, and economic activity.
Through the Partnership on Measuring Information and Communication Technology for Development, UNCTAD has helped countries develop the ability to produce their own comparable statistics mechanism to assess the information economy. The capacity-building programme in this soecfici region has been made possible due to financial support from the Government of Sweden.
From the support of UNCTAD and through the knowledge sharing experience of the International Workshop, Thailand’s ETDA has the tools to enhance collection of e-commerce data throughout the country.