SYDNEY--(BUSINESS WIRE)--A new index published by The Economist Intelligence Unit shows that Australia is the best positioned among the G20 to capitalize on global e-trade opportunities.
The G20 e-Trade Readiness Index, sponsored by eBay Inc., points to Australia’s all-round strength, particularly its affordable Internet access, high smartphone penetration and use of electronic payment methods.
Island nations fared well, making up three of the top five spots. Australia is top, the UK comes in fourth and Japan in fifth. These developed island nations have economies that have long relied on international trade, the report says, and look well-positioned to continue this with e-trade opportunities.
The report also warns that customs and regulation restrictions could hamper SME growth. SMEs tend to ship smaller parcels to a variety of locations and cannot always benefit from shipping in bulk. Customs procedures in some countries can also be more trouble than they are worth for small packages.
Laurel West, editor of the report, said: “It’s clear that technology alone is not enough to allow e-trade to reach its full potential. Customs regimes across the globe are still aligned with the needs of big businesses and hampering SMEs. E-trade is a ripe opportunity for SMEs to compete with multinationals. They can be a key driver in its growth, but bureaucracy could be their biggest barrier.”