While the Internet streamlines international trade, surging to $1.4 trillion in 2004, the divide will deepen between those countries that are net-savvy and those that are not. The web presents a wealth of opportunities, with cross-border e-marketplace trade surpassing $400 billion.
“While B2B e-commerce is accelerating throughout the US, most businesses don’t operate in domestic-only supply chains,” said Matthew Sanders, analyst at Forrester Research. “Online trade will expand globally as firms use the Net to attack inefficiencies in today’s international trade practices.”
Western Europe is set to lead the world, with $692 billion in global online exports in 2004, driven by Germany’s $144 billion in online cross-border sales. By that time, North America will see 23% of its exports move online, led by the US with $210 billion in cross-border e-commerce. Asia-Pacific, fueled by $57 billion in Japanese online exports, will reach $219 billion in four years.
Petrochemical exports will propel Western Europe to $215 billion. Denmark and Norway will lead the region, each sending 10% of their international sales online. While sales through e-marketplaces within Canada and the US will reach $1.5 trillion in 2004, only seven per cent of these will flow across borders. Asia-Pacific exports through online markets will reach $50 billion, driven by sales to North American firms.
Countries will fall into two categories: e-business extroverts and introverts. Nineteen countries – the e-business extroverts – will dominate online international trade, led by Canada, Norway, and Denmark.
Although the web will impact countries in different ways, national policies remain critically important. “Introverts shouldn’t just give up. They can accelerate their e-business by adjusting policies and targeting investments in technology infrastructure,” said Bruce Temkin, research director at Forrester.
To determine the impact of this shift on different countries, the e-marketplace Export Index (eMEI), defines the potential for export gains from the growth of global e-marketplace trade. Countries with an above-average eMEI, like Canada, the US, and Belgium/Luxembourg, will see the expansion of their collective online exports hit hypergrowth in 2001.
On the other hand, the adoption of online exports in nations with a below-average eMEI, like China, Hong Kong, and Japan, won’t hit hypergrowth until 2003.
*For the report ‘Sizing Global Online Exports’, 50 e-marketplaces that have plans to recruit international participants were interviewed. US e-marketplaces expect 44% of their volume to come from abroad by 2002.
Established in 1983, Forrester is headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with research centers in Amsterdam, Netherlands, and in London, UK.