eBay has been promoting its role in fostering international trade and recently hosted a trade delegation from Australia at its headquarters in San Jose, California. The eBay Government Relations team made a presentation on the power of Internet-enabled trade and technology in supporting businesses in Australia and around the globe.
Among attendees was Andrew Robb, Australia’s Minister for Trade and Investment, who was in the country promoting Australia’s attractiveness for new or expanded investment and trade.
Of the meeting, eBay’s government relations team wrote, “eBay Inc. has enjoyed a close partnership with Australia since launching operations in 1999. With high mobile usage, the country is primed to take advantage of innovations emerging on eBay Inc.’s platforms which will create new business opportunities and make shopping a painless experience for eBay Inc. customers in Australia.”
eBay also recently gave representatives of Australia’s Parliament a tour of its Commerce Innovation Showcase at its San Jose headquarters “to see first-hand how eBay and PayPal-enabled businesses in their electorates and around the world use Internet and mobile technology to help small and medium-sized businesses.”
eBay is interested in influencing government regulation and policies as it focuses on cross-border and international trade. It published a study called “Towards Commerce 3.0 – Roadmap for Building Sustainable Growth into Commerce” in which it argues that trade policy has traditionally been viewed as only being beneficial to large firms seeking to access new markets.” The report states, “Commerce 3.0 offers a new path forward for trade policy that promotes technology, entrepreneurship, and consumer welfare. This Roadmap will describe how the global potential of the Internet enables small businesses to engage in trade in a way never before imagined by advocates of trade.”
eBay’s lobbying efforts are having an impact, and a recent government report cited the eBay research. Christina Sevilla, Deputy Assistant USTR (United States Trade Representative) for Small Business, wrote about the benefits of Internet-enabled trade on small business in the U.S. and abroad, saying its dramatic growth in recent years is empowering millions of U.S. and foreign small businesses to sell their goods and services to customers around the world, 24 hours a day.
“Internet-enabled trade allows small businesses to have an online presence, while maintaining a physical local presence and contributing to the local economy and jobs in their communities,” she wrote.
Sevilla said a recent series of studies of online marketplace data found that internet-enabled small businesses are more likely to export and reach more country markets than their offline counterparts. “For example, one study found that almost all small businesses on online marketplaces such as eBay export and on average reach between 24 and 39 foreign markets. Small businesses can increase their export sales through their company web presence and multiple platforms.”
She noted the value of cross-border online trade in 2013 was $114 billion across the U.S., United Kingdom, Germany, Australia, China and Brazil, with a combined 94 million online shoppers. “This value is projected to increase to $307 billion in trade and 130 million online shoppers across these countries by 2018.” And, she said, “Trade policies that promote e-commerce and internet-enabled services, electronic payment methods and improved customs logistics can enable even more small businesses to grow and thrive globally online.”