eBay today launched a new roadmap to promote the integration of commercial growth opportunities with European politics in a way that would empower both vendors and consumers, thereby boosting economic growth in the Eurozone. eBay calls this roadmap “Commerce 3.0”. MEP Cecilia Wikström, who hosted the presentation to the European Parliament, expressed her support for the eBay action plan.
“If I buy jewellery online but have to wait days or even weeks before I can wear it, e-commerce will lose its charm. Through better cross-border delivery services, simplified VAT and streamlined customs procedures, SMEs would be able to expand their businesses – even outside of the EU – and European consumers would benefit from real choice. The increased trade would take us out of the economic crisis faster,” she commented.
eBay’s roadmap, entitled “Towards Commerce 3.0: Roadmap for Building Sustainable Growth into Commerce”, recommends that the European Union:
1. Bring fast, reliable and transparent end-to-end cross-border delivery services to market through pro-active public-private partnerships
2. Simplify, standardise and end discrimination with regard to VAT and customs duty obligations for electronically purchased products from EU and non-EU sellers
3. Design “21st century trade agreements”, taking the new generation of Free Trade Agreements to the next level by putting the needs of consumers and small traders at the centre
4. Become a world leader in promoting mutual recognition of customs programmes to facilitate trade
5. Drive a paradigm shift in legal thinking with relation to technology and information
The roadmap recommends smart policy making as a substitute for a regulatory shift with the ultimate objective for Commerce 3.0 to be realised on both a local and a global scale: a world-wide, inclusive and consumer-driven commerce environment that delivers sustainable growth.
The position paper is supported by an empirical economic study featuring an analysis of trade streams and export behaviour that compares offline trade with trade via eBay. The study was conducted by Sidley Austin LLP and Professor Marcelo Olarreaga of the University of Geneva.