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India ranks 71 in UNCTAD B2C E-commerce Index 2020, Switzerland tops

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India ranks 71 in UNCTAD B2C E-commerce Index 2020In accordance with the ‘UNCTAD B2C E-COMMERCE INDEX 2020- Spotlight on Latin America and the Caribbean’, India ranked 71 out of 152 countries as compared to 75th position in 2019. The index measures an economy’s preparedness to support online shopping where B2C stands for Business to Consumer. UNCTAD is an acronym for United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.

  • The index has been topped by Switzerland for the first time which has surpassed The Netherlands. Notably 97% of the Swiss population used the internet in 2019.
  • The online shopping was estimated at $4.4 trillion globally in 2018, up 7% from 2017.
  • In 2019, an estimated 1.5 billion people, or 27% of the world’s population aged 15 years and older, shopped online. This again represented a 7% increase over 2018.

Table Showing Top 5 Countries:

5United Kingdom (UK)

Basis of Assessment:

Secure internet servers, reliability of postal services and infrastructure, and the portion of their population that uses the internet and has an account with a financial institution or a provider of mobile money services.

Ranking of India on various parameters:

  • Share of individuals using the Internet (2019 or latest)- 34
  • Share of individuals with an account (15+, 2017)- 80
  • Secure Internet servers (normalized, 2019)- 49
  • UPU postal reliability score (2019 or latest)- 65

On the regional front of East, South & Southeast Asia, India ranked at 10th position which has been topped by Singapore.

Key Points:

i.The 10 developing countries with the highest scores are all from Asia in the category of high-income or upper-middle-income economies.

ii.Least developed countries (LDCs) occupy 18 of the bottom 20 positions. Congo and SyrianA rab Republic are the only non-LDCs in this group.

iii.The two largest B2C e-commerce markets in the world, China and the United States, rank 55th and 12th respectively.

iv.In the composition of the top 10 positions, Hong Kong (China) replaced Australia. Among the top 10 developing economies, Oman replaced Turkey.

v.The four largest increases in index scores were recorded in developing countries of Algeria, Brazil, Ghana and Lao People’s Democratic Republic.

vi.Costa Rica became the best performer in the Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) region, replacing Chile.

vii.Mauritius retained the highest score in sub-Saharan Africa.

vii.Belarus got the highest score among transition economies.

Why Special focus on Latin America and the Caribbean?

LAC region accounts for 9% of the world’s population aged 15 and older and 11% of the world’s internet users. Five countries account for 92% of online shoppers in LAC which is much higher than their share (72%) of the region’s population.

  • However, the region’s share of global online shoppers was only 6% of the global total in 2019.

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Recent Related News:

i.According to Lowy Institute Asia Power Index 2020 Edition released by Sydney (Australia) based Lowy Institute, India with a score of 39.7 (out of 100) is the 4th most powerful country in Asia.

ii.According to the ‘COVID Performance Index : Deconstructing Pandemic Responses’ released by Australia based Lowy Institute, India with a score of 24.3 was ranked at 86 out of 98 Countries on basis of its response towards tackling the Pandemic. New Zealand topped the list followed by Vietnam & Taiwan.

About United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD):

Established– 1964, by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA)
Acting Secretary-General– Isabelle Durant of Belgium
Headquarters– Geneva, Switzerland