Is this the rise and fall of ecommerce without borders?
“If trade stops, war starts.” Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba, has warned. Yet despite this we are seeing more trade barriers go up and protectionist policies win out. So does this past year mark both the rise and the fall of Ma’s concept for ecommerce without borders? I fear so, let’s consider why:
In March 2016, Jack Ma introduced the idea of a global Electronic World Trade Platform (eWTP) at the Boao Forum, in China. In Ma’s vision, businesses would create hubs for ecommerce and governments would create virtual free trade zones for SMEs. This would see a rise of ecommerce without borders. The eWTP would essentially allow businesses in one country to sell to consumers in another, with low or no import duties, speedy customs clearances and better access to logistics, making trading easier for internet retailers, and in particular, SMEs looking to scale-up.
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