Thematic Cities Cluster

E-Commerce, Digitalization & Smart Cities

The Cities Cluster on E-commerce, digitalization and smart cities offers a space for knowledge sharing and collaboration between cities partners of the Global South on how to promote and strengthen e-commerce and achieve digital transformation to advance on sustainable development and build smarter cities.  

Cities are ideal locations for e-commerce businesses because, among other things, business owners can most efficiently reach the greatest number of customers and most easily access needed resources for production and marketing, including funding, human capital, and infrastructures. Globally, urban last-mile deliveries will increase by 78% by 2030 (Edwin Lopez, Jannifer McKevitt, 2017), and urban freight delivery growth will expand by 40% by 2050 (Emma Cosgrove, 2020). The implication is that e-commerce transactions are increasingly taking place in urban settings; the future of e-commerce will largely hinge on urban development and shape urban development. 

Quality of life and efficiency of urban operation and services and competitiveness can be drastically improved with the use of informational and communication technologies and innovations (ITU, 2021). However, there is no guarantee that citizens across the board will automatically benefit from the rapid diffusion of new technologies. Urban leaders should design, implement, and monitor smart city policies as a tool to improve well-being for all people. 

With widespread COVID-19 impacts and arising needs for a green and just recovery from the pandemic, the Cities Project commissioned 15 capacity development training webinars on e-commerce in 2020. Building on results achieved in the past year, the Cities Project will continue to carry out activities and facilitate capacity development and knowledge sharing among cities and institutions in partnership with specialized UN agencies and entities in 2021.  

The Cities Project welcomes city partners interested in participating in this Cities Cluster on E-commerce, digitalization and smart cities and hopes the knowledge exchanged here leads to more South-South cooperation and a swift post-pandemic social and economic recovery.

Latest News and Updates

Cities Clusters - E-commerceCities ProjectNews
April 5, 2021

China Cross-Border E-Commerce Trade Fair Concludes in “Digital Fuzhou” City

Opening Session featured knowledge and insights from 12 Southern Countries. Representative from the Brazilian Embassy in China introducing e-commerce in Brazil. Source: China Cross-border E-commerce Trade Fair 29 March 2021,…
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November 11, 2020

35 Cities in Uzbekistan benefit from UNOSSC Cities Project Urban Development Workshop

On 6 November 2020, mayors and deputy mayors of 35 mid-sized cities in Uzbekistan completed an online training on transforming cities by developing business and enhancing the service sector, supported…
Cities Clusters - E-commerceCities ProjectEventsWebinars
August 11, 2020

Webinar Series: SSC & TrC Among Cities on Cross-border E-commerce & Digital Innovation for Sustainable Development

When: Fridays, between 14 August and 04 December 2020. To download the Training Report, please click here. Background The United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC), through its Cities Project…
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August 4, 2020

South-South Cooperation in Crypto Crowdfunding for PPE Mobilization for West Africa

10 August 2020, New York – 250,000 disposable surgical masks mobilized by the Finance Center for South-South Cooperation (FCSSC) together with its partners for the West African Health Organization (WAHO)…

Members of this Cluster

China Association of Trade in Services (CATIS)

China Association of Trade in Services (CATIS) is the only national trade in services organization of China. CATIS is a non-profit social organization with the approval from the State Council. It was established in 2007, with the strategic background of optimizing the international trade structure and highlighting the development of trade in services in China.

China Association of Trade in Services (CATIS)