New funds from Sweden to foster inclusive digital economy

UN Trade and Development receives a contribution of nearly $1 million to bolster e-commerce and the digital economy across developing countries.

Renewing long-standing partnerships, the Nordic nation on 6 May provides a funding boost of 10 million Swedish Krona (close to $1 million) to power the e-commerce and digital economy (ECDE) programme run by UN Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

The programme works to shore up technical cooperation, capacity building, intergovernmental consensus and multi-stakeholder dialogue, helping developing countries better participate in, and benefit from, the burgeoning digital economy.

“Sweden is proud to continue supporting the important work on e-commerce and the digital economy for 2024 and 2025”, said Ambassador Nina Tornberg, deputy permanent representative of Sweden to the UN office and other international organizations in Geneva.

“The Swedish support to the ECDE programme is in line with the ambition of my government’s new reform agenda to seek synergies between trade and development cooperation,” Ms Tornberg added.

Secretary-General Rebeca Grynspan underlined the recognition of UN Trade and Development, for Sweden’s longstanding support to efforts towards a more inclusive e-commerce and digital economy.

Global support crucial to inclusive development

The e-commerce and digital economy programme has seen growing donor support in recent years.

On the one hand, the COVID-19 crisis fueled a surge in e-commerce, accelerating pre-existing trends towards digitalization worldwide.

On the other hand, the rise of e-trade and frontier technologies – such as artificial intelligence – heightens the urgent need to ensure that the digital boom leaves no one behind.

In this regard, international cooperation and support remain key to helping developing nations create and capture value from the fast-evolving technological landscape.

Strong collaboration, tangible results

Sweden is among top donors to the e-commerce and digital economy programme, alongside Australia, Germany, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and Switzerland.

Support from the country drives key initiatives ranging from measuring e-commerce and the digital economy and promoting women’s role in eTrade to implementing eTrade readiness assessments.

The inaugural eWeek 2023, aimed at shaping the future of the digital economy, also benefited from Sweden’s collaboration.

The latest funding contribution underscores the country’s strong tradition in supporting developing countries to better participate in world commerce, including through the “Aid for Trade” initiative.

Since 2022, Sweden has been co-facilitating the intergovernmental process on the UN Global Digital Compact, seeking an open, free and secure digital future for all.

UN Trade and Development, through its e-commerce and digital economy programme, supports the process, as well as the implementation of the World Summit on the Information Society, to strengthen digital cooperation for sustainable and inclusive development.

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