E-commerce enables consumers to access an unprecedented choice of goods and services, it increases price transparency and fosters convenience by enabling consumer to shop online 24 hours a day. Yet at the same time, these consumer benefits are challenged by unfair business practices, breaches to consumer privacy, inadequate dispute resolution mechanisms and difficulties in cross-border law enforcement.
Against this backdrop this week, UNCTAD hosted the E-commerce week in Geneva. At a session on E-commerce and consumer protection experts discussed ways in which developing countries could be assisted in engaging in and benefiting from more E-commerce. ConPolicy-Executive Director Prof Dr Christian Thorun discussed action points with other experts such as Amanda Long, Director-General Consumers International, Eric Pelletier, Vice-President and Head of International Government Affairs for Alibaba Group, Deon Woods-Bell, from the US FTC, and Peter Bischoff-Everding from the European Commission.