Skip to main content
The challenges facing SME exports have long been recognized, notably by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), which has outlined a framework of 47 key internal and external barriers. While cross-border e-commerce has the potential to alleviate some of these barriers, it cannot entirely eliminate them. Moreover, it introduces new challenges, such as the dominance of large e-commerce platforms over small sellers and the initial cost burden for small sellers entering the e-commerce space. This report offers a systematic analysis of how e-commerce has transformed the landscape of barriers for SME exports. It contends that addressing individual barriers in isolation is unlikely to be effective, as persistent barriers may hinder SMEs' engagement in cross-border e-commerce. Instead, governments should adopt a holistic approach to support selected SMEs in navigating the entire export process—from product quality assurance and logistics to import procedures, payment mechanisms, and reaching end consumers. Such support should align with national export strategies or yield broad societal benefits, such as serving as demonstration projects.
Trade, Investment and Innovation Division +66 2 288-1234 [email protected]