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Leveraging E-Commerce for SMEs: Learning from the Field in East Asia

May 18-19, 2020


  • Tuesday, May 19, 2020 | 10:30 am - 12:30 pm (Malaysia Time)
    Monday, May 18, 2020 |10:30 pm – 12:30 am (EDT)

    Lockdowns and social distancing triggered by COVID-19 crisis are seriously damaging otherwise healthy firms through four channels: (i) falling demand, (ii) reduced input supply, (iii) tightening of credit conditions and liquidity crunch, and (iv) rising uncertainty.  E-commerce stands out among digital applications because of its ability to instantly link sellers with buyers, lower transaction costs, and create new niche markets tailored to consumer demand and it has demonstrated these advantages in several countries in the last few months.

    RSVP by May 18, 2020

    This Webinar aims to explore the necessary enabling policy and regulatory frameworks for boosting e-commerce development, leveraging private sector participation and expertise as well as digital financial services.  The webinar will share the key learnings from a joint research between the World Bank and the Alibaba Group on how China has harnessed digital technologies to aid growth and expand employment opportunities through e-commerce development in rural areas.  The study finds that participation in e-commerce has a positive association with household welfare improvement, especially in rural areas, and that beneficiaries include vulnerable populations—women and youth.  Experience from Malaysia’s Digital Free Trade Zone (DFTZ) and how the strategy needs to pivot in light of the crisis will be also be explored.  Digital Financial services are an integral part of the e-Commerce solution. Ant Financial experts are invited to share their experience in building up alternative credit risks assessment using Big Data and other information on small business and facilitate access to financial services to small vendors on e-Commerce platforms, as well as their innovative financing solutions provided immediately after the outbreak of COVID-19 in China. 

    Background Reports/Papers:

    (Once you have completed the registration, you'll receive a confirmation and instruction for joining the webinar session)

    For questions, please contact:  Ruzita Ahmad (

  • Opening:

    Cecile Thioro Niang, Practice Manager for East Asia and the Pacific, Finance, Competitiveness and Innovation, the World Bank


    • Overview of the key challenges to SMEs for Post Covid-19 recovery and policy recommendations for SMEs support: How to leverage E-Commerce for SME business recovery? Smita Kuriakose, Senior Economist, the World Bank
    • Digital Free Trade Zone (DFTZ) and its relevance to boosting e-commerce development amongst SMEs in Malaysia. Opportunities and strategies to pivot post Covid-19: Dato’ Ng Wan Peng, Chief Operations Officer, Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC)
    • E-Commerce Development in China: Experience from TaoBao Villages: Xubei Luo, Senior Economist, the World Bank
    • Digital Financial Services to Small Vendors on e-Commerce Platforms in China: Ant Financials’ approach: Howard Mu, Senior Advisor, Digital Lending, Ant Financial


  • TIME (EASTERN DAYLIGHT TIME) - MONDAY MAY 18, 2020 :: 10:30 pm – 12:30 am
  • TIME (MALAYSIA TIME) - WEDNESDAY MAY 19, 2020:: 10:30 am - 12:30 pm
  • RSVP: RSVP by May 19, 2020