APEC launches portal to help SMEs start cross-border e-commerce business

An e-learning platform that helps small-and-medium sized enterprises start a cross-border e-commerce based business has been launched by the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) SME  working group.

The APEC CBET eLearning platform is collaborative project between ABAC and Wenzhou-Kean University. The platform was designed for small businesses and individuals to obtain the most professional, practical, and localized cross-border e-commerce knowledge, skills, and entrepreneurial guidance.

The website features two course modules designed by industry experts that award students with electronic certificates upon successful completion: Introduction to Cross-Border E-commerce, and Trust and Safety in Cross-Border E-commerce.

Introduction to Cross-Border E-commerce teaches students a basic understanding of the entire cross-border e-commerce industry ecosystem, featuring units that teach e-commerce industry trends; customer service; marketing; localization; payments; logistics; returns, refunds, and exchanges; internet finance; trust and safety; and future trends.

Trust and Safety in Cross-Border E-commerce teaches students how cross-border e-commerce platforms work with buyers and sellers to provide a safe and ethical operating environment for conducting international trade digitally, this course offers units detailing risk management, automated mechanisms, manual mechanisms, 3rd party mechanisms, and intellectual property protection.

CBET stands for Cross-Border E-commerce Training and is the e-commerce capacity building program that has been endorsed by APEC since 2013, and seeks to provide small-and-medium sized enterprises with the necessary training they need to go global. APEC CBET holds training workshops throughout the APEC region and has educated thousands of SMEs since its inception.

In recent years, G20 and APEC leaders have reached a consensus that cross-border e-commerce is one of the best ways to empower local SMEs to reach global markets, after a study from the USC Marshall School of Business funded by APEC titled: Driving Economic Growth Through Cross-Border E-Commerce in APEC: Empowering MSMEs and Eliminating Barriers, revealed that 74% of APEC economies have indicated that cross-border e-commerce will be the key disruptive force on their economy over the next 3 years.

The conclusions from this study are overwhelming, proving that 60-80% of e-commerce exporters survive their first year in business compared with a 30-50% survival rate for traditional businesses and 30-40 different economies are reached on average by e-commerce export firms, compared with traditional exporters who reach an average of 3-4 economies.

The report specifically endorses APEC CBET for training SMEs to use cross-border e-commerce.