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East Asia and Pacific

E-commerce for poverty alleviation in rural China: from grassroots development to public-private partnerships

Xubei Luo's picture
Also available in: 中文
A young woman is selling products on-line. Photo: Xubei Luo/World Bank

China’s rapid development of e-commerce has begun to reshape production and consumption patterns as well as change people’s daily lives. In 2016, the World Bank and the Alibaba Group launched a joint research initiative to examine how China has harnessed digital technologies to aid growth and expand employment opportunities through e-commerce development in rural areas. The research seeks to distill lessons and identify policy options to enhance the positive effect of e-commerce on the reduction of poverty and inequality. Emerging findings from that research show that rural e-commerce evolves from grassroots development to become a potential tool for poverty alleviation with public-private partnerships.

E-commerce has grown quickly in China. Total e-commerce trade volume increased from less than 1,000 billion yuan (US$120.8 billion) in 2004 to nearly 30,000 billion yuan (US$4.44 trillion) in 2017. While e-commerce is more developed in urban areas, online retail sales in rural areas have grown faster than the national average. From 2014 to 2017, online retail sales in rural China increased from RMB 180 billion to 1.24 trillion, a compound annual growth rate of 91%, compared to 35% nationally.

中国农村电商扶贫:从基层发展到政府和社会资本合作

Xubei Luo's picture
Also available in: English
一位女店主正在网上销售产品。 摄影:骆许蓓/世界银行

中国电子商务行业快速发展已开始重塑中国生产和消费格局并改变人们的日常生活。2016年,世界银行和阿里巴巴集团启动了一项联合课题研究,旨在考察中国如何利用数字技术推动农村电子商务发展,进而助推经济增长并扩大就业机会。研究力求总结实践经验,找出有利的政策措施,用以增强农村电商对减少贫困和不均等现象的作用。初步研究表明,农村电子商务已从基层发展演变为政府和社会资本合作开展扶贫的一种潜在工具。

中国电子商务增长迅速。2004年至2017年,电商交易总额从不到1万亿元人民币(约合1208亿美元)增至近30万亿元人民币(约合4.44万亿美元 )。尽管电子商务在城镇的发展水平更高,但网上零售额在农村地区增长更快。2014年至2017年,中国农村网上零售额 从1800亿元增至1.24万亿元,年均复合增长率达91%,而同期的全国平均水平为35%。

How can Malaysia realize the potential of its human capital?

Richard Record's picture
To boost productivity and go the next mile in its development path, Malaysia must improve its human capital through better learning and nutritional outcomes and social protection programs. (Photo: Samuel Goh/World Bank)


Anyone who visits Malaysia will quickly come to realize that Malaysians are blessed with enormous talent, ranging from the myriad of entrepreneurs creating new businesses online to those active in the creative industries including music, culture and sports. But there is also still a widespread sense that Malaysia is not making the most of its human capital, with concerns that despite large investments in education and health, the returns are not as high as they should be, and that a large share of Malaysians are still being left behind.

Women at work in East Asia Pacific: Solid progress but a long road ahead

Victoria Kwakwa's picture



East Asia Pacific’s (EAP) strong economic performance over the past few decades has significantly benefited and empowered women in the region, bringing better health and education and greater access to economic opportunities. To celebrate International Women’s Day, we are featuring 12 women in the region who embody the advancements women have made in EAP, despite the many barriers that remain for them at work.

Surpassing all other developing regions, EAP’s female-to-male enrollment ratio for tertiary education is currently 1.2, with the ratio of secondary education access nearly equal for girls and boys. But in the workplace, the share of women working in EAP is at 62% versus 78.9% for men, a gap that has not narrowed over the past four years.

Mengubah ‘disabilitas’ menjadi ‘kemampuan’: kesempatan untuk mensosialisasikan perkembangan inklusi disabilitas di Indonesia

Jian Vun's picture
Also available in: English

Sebelum bergabung dengan Bank Dunia, saya bekerja sebagai perancang kota dan sering memberi saran agar rencana pembangunan lebih mudah diakses bagi penyandang disabilitas. Sayangnya, banyak pengembang cenderung mengenyampingkan kebutuhan mereka karena mengeluarkan biaya tambahan untuk melakukan penambahan desain yang buruk, atau yang lebih parah, membatasi akses untuk orang-orang tertentu.

Kelalaian seperti ini membuat kota menjadi tidak ramah bagi semua lapisan masyarakat termasuk penyandang disabilitas. Bencana dapat memperparah tantangan ini, seperti jalur atau informasi evakuasi yang tidak dapat diakses, tempat penampungan yang tidak sesuai‑rancangan, hilangnya bantuan, dan terbatasnya kesempatan untuk membangun kembali matapencaharian.

Turning ‘disability’ into ‘ability’: opportunities to promote disability inclusive development in Indonesia

Jian Vun's picture
Also available in: Bahasa Indonesia



Before joining the World Bank, I worked as an urban designer and often provided advice on how the design of proposed developments could be more accessible for people with disabilities. Sadly, many developers tend to consider disability inclusion as an afterthought, meaning they incurred additional costs to retrofit poor designs, or worse, inadvertently restricted access for certain people.

Such oversights create cities that are not ‘friendly’ for people of all abilities. Disasters can further exacerbate such challenges, such as through inaccessible evacuation routes or information, poorly­‑designed shelters, loss of assistive aids, and limited opportunities to rebuild livelihoods.

Improving public sector performance through innovation and inter-agency coordination

Bernard Myers's picture
Outside the Prime Minister’s Department in Putrajaya, the federal administrative capital of Malaysia. Malaysia sits at an important juncture in development history and the country’s experience is key in generating insights to improving public sector performance. (Photo: Samuel Goh/World Bank)

Artificial intelligence, big data: Opportunities for enhancing human development in Thailand and beyond

Sutayut Osornprasop's picture

The use of artificial intelligence (AI) and big data can offer untapped opportunities for Thailand. Particularly, it has enormous potential to contribute to Thailand 4.0, a new value-based economic model driven by innovation, technology and creativity that is expected to unlock the country from several economic challenges resulting from past economic development models (agriculture – Thailand 1.0, light industry – Thailand 2.0, and heavy industry – Thailand 3.0), the “middle income trap” and “inequality trap”. One core aspect of Thailand 4.0 puts emphasis on developing new S-curve industries, which includes investing in digital, robotics, and the regional medical hub.

Lessons from Malaysia: Linking government spending to performance

Bernard Myers's picture
Outside the Ministry of Finance of Malaysia where the National Budget Office operates. Malaysia’s experience in ensuring government spending contributes to better public services through reforms like performance-based budgeting is a learning point for other countries. (Photo: Phuong D. Nguyen/bigstock)
Across the world, political leaders have sought to show how public spending contributes to concrete results like better public services, which citizens can experience and benefit from. Coupled with a steadily growing number of channels through which citizens can communicate their “voices,” political leaders are facing increasing pressure to do more with less resources.

In this context, how can civil servants and leaders holding office, particularly the ones who prepare budgets, manage this challenge?

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