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New Report Sponsored by eBay Ranks Countries Based on Global E-Trade Readiness

A new index published today by The Economist Intelligence Unit shows that Australia is the best positioned among the G20 to capitalise 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.”

Read The G20 e-Trade Readiness Index

Notes to editors

About the index

The index comprises more than 40 indicators across five thematic categories: investment climate, Internet environment, international trading environment, regulatory and legal framework, and the environment for e-payments. The categories within the index are weighted according to The Economist Intelligence Unit’s assumptions of their relative importance in facilitating cross-border trade using the Internet, especially for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The index focuses on the G20, though for the purposes of this research we have excluded the EU as a separate entity in the rankings, hence only 19 countries are ranked. In addition to analysis of the index findings, this report is based on wide-ranging desk research and interviews with experts on the challenges and opportunities in cross-border online trading.

About The Economist Intelligence Unit

The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) is the world's leading resource for economic and business research, forecasting and analysis. It provides accurate and impartial intelligence for companies, government agencies, financial institutions and academic organisations around the globe, inspiring business leaders to act with confidence since 1946. EIU products include its flagship Country Reports service, providing political and economic analysis for 195 countries, and a portfolio of subscription-based data and forecasting services. The company also undertakes bespoke research and analysis projects on individual markets and business sectors. More information is available at or follow us on

The EIU is headquartered in London, UK, with offices in more than 40 cities and a network of some 650 country experts and analysts worldwide. It operates independently as the business-to-business arm of The Economist Group, the leading source of analysis on international business and world affairs.

About eBay Inc.

eBay Inc. (NASDAQ: EBAY) is a global commerce and payments leader, providing a robust platform where merchants of all sizes can compete and win. Founded in 1995 in San Jose, California, eBay Inc. connects millions of buyers and sellers and enabled US$205bn of commerce volume in 2013. It does so through eBay, one of the world's largest online marketplaces, which allows users to buy and sell in nearly every country on earth; through PayPal, which enables individuals and businesses to securely, easily and quickly send and receive digital payments; and through eBay Enterprise, which enables omnichannel commerce, multichannel retailing and digital marketing for global enterprises in the US and internationally. It also reaches millions through specialised marketplaces such as StubHub, the world's largest ticket marketplace, and eBayclassifieds sites, which together have a presence in more than 1,000 cities around the world. For more information about the company and its global portfolio of online brands, visit

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