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Write about the Efforts of Harmonisation Towards E-commerce.

Reasons for Harmonization of E-Commerce

Over the past few years, there has been a constant expansion of the e-commerce business and most of the investors across the globe are seeking to capitalize on the digital sales channels. It, therefore, implies that with the harmonization of e-commerce, there will be a wide variety of benefits obtained by such investors. The harmonization of e-commerce, therefore, entails the development of certain legal frameworks with the aim of facilitating a smooth transition to a digital economy all over the world.  The establishment of a harmonized e-commerce law is aimed at the creation of a conducive ICT environment for various business enterprises.

It is also intended to help build trust through the promotion of secure business transactions across the world. It is important to note that with a harmonized e-commerce, there is likely to be development in various regions of the world and this would be through the creation of an enabling legal enabling environment. Such a legal enabling environment will typically offer support to certain developments in e-commerce. There are also other elements which will be supported through the harmonization of e-commerce and this include, cloud computing, mobile commerce, tourism, trade facilitation, E-government initiatives, and social networking among others.

 There are a number of reasons for harmonization of e-commerce. Some of the reasons entail, one for consumer protection and this is especially during the online transactions and hence there would not be conned by some of the sellers of certain items. The other reason for the harmonization of e-commerce would be to facilitate trading activities, for example, the use of a single window system. With such a system put in place, there would be a quick and easy submission of various regulatory requirements in relation to the transit of goods and services at a single point of entry (Lim, Jin, and Srai, 2018 p.320). Further with harmonization of e-commerce, there will be the facilitation of e-payment which is vital for both mobile and electronic commerce in the world.

 Thus there would be cross border transactions across the globe. Also, there would the promotion of social networking which is considered a step up to various e-commerce opportunities from the usual website and email use and this would facilitate business activities all over the world. Lastly, the reason for harmonization of e-commerce is that it will typically promote outsourcing among various companies across the globe (Khan, 2017 p.140). The establishment of different privacy laws and also the creation of certain best legislation cybercrime practice will allow for the creation of a variety of opportunities in outsourcing which are critical for different manufacturing companies.

Efforts Made Toward Harmonization

There are several efforts which have been made by certain nations towards the harmonisation of e-commerce and this has been in consideration of the key benefits associated with the whole process. Some of the efforts entail, one the provision of support to the process consisting of monitoring the progress of e-commerce law harmonisation on a regular basis by the different concerned countries (Trends, Falk and Hagsten, 2015 p.20). Such an action has been facilitated by the creation of a tool and website whose primary function is to share knowledge and documentation of key ideas which would facilitate harmonisation of e-commerce.

The other effort has been the establishment of various workshops in different countries with a lot of emphasis on areas of e-commerce law to help advance the harmonisation process which is an essential priority that is cybercrime and privacy. Apart from the above mentioned efforts, there has been training in different countries on certain legal topics.There are a variety of international experts who have been invited all over the globe during such training to help in the discussion of the issues on e-commerce law harmonisation. The training is mainly aimed at exposing the nations to various experiences of certain other countries who have tried to harmonise e-commerce to help in attaining the target.

There have been a number of challenges that have hindered the step towards the harmonisation of e-commerce. Such challenges entail, one there are certain differences in the legal approach for every nation across the world (Falk and Hagsten, 2015 p.365). It has, therefore, become difficult for the identification and comparison of the legal requirements in the jurisdictions especially for the business organizations which aims at operating at the international level. Also, there has been a lack of skills and training. According to the recent statistics, it was established that most of the nations across the globe do not have the necessary skills and training and this was typically in areas such as enforcement, drafting, and interpretation of the laws.

According to Shardow and Mensah (2018 p.40), it is, therefore, necessary that individuals undergo training to acquire skills to help in the harmonisation of e-commerce. The other reason why harmonisation of e-commerce has not occurred is due to the slow legislative process and this is especially in certain jurisdictions in various countries across the world. The process of implementing the e-commerce law in different countries has been slow and this was according to the recent statistics. Further, the process of harmonisation of e-commerce has been hindered by the resource constraint in many of the countries and this has been due to the critical funding gap experienced in most of the nations (Todd, P., 2017 p.89). Lastly, the non-occurrence of harmonisation of e-commerce has associated with the low level of government awareness on issues relating to cybercrime and e-commerce in the government.

Challenges to Harmonization

There have been several attempts by different groups across the globe to harmonise e-commerce. For example, there has been an attempt by the ASEAN member countries to undertake the process. However, there have been certain challenges which have hindered the process (Music, 2017 p.92). Some of the challenges include a difference in legal approach, resource constraints, lack of qualified regulators and insufficient government awareness on issues relating to cybercrimes and e-commerce among others. Further, there has also been an attempt by the European Union to have a full harmonisation of e-commerce in the member states. The attempt required that all the member states integrate the national legislation to conform to that of the European with the aim of protecting consumers willing to buy various items online. However due to the differences in culture and other legal approaches used in the member countries it has not been possible to harmonise e-commerce (Lauristin, 2017 p.50). The other factors which have hindered the process entail the inadequate resources especially financial resources, an absence of skilled and qualified regulators and a slow legislative process in the member countries.

There are numerous benefits associated with the harmonisation of e-commerce and this relates to the promotion of competitiveness and economic growth in various countries. Therefore there will be development in such countries which will successfully harmonise e-commerce. There is, therefore, the need to harmonise e-commerce. Certain recommendation has been made to help further the process of harmonisation in different countries. For example, there should be the need to strengthen the sharing of information in various countries to facilitate knowledge and best practices in relation to e-commerce (Gillies, 2016 p.10). Such an information should also contain the different stages involved in the establishment of e-commerce law. Further, there should be the need to create the capacity in various fundamental areas in different nations across the world. Such capacities should be strengthened in relation to key legal areas through the creation of public awareness on the e-commerce legislation (Bakhtiarifar and Savrai, 2018 p.28). The above mentioned step will typically help in building trust online and working on issues related to cyber crimes. Lastly, an updated roadmap on the process of harmonisation of e-commerce should be developed and this will help in the assessment of progress made by the countries towards the development of harmonised e-commerce laws.

References

Bakhtiarifar, G. and Savrai, P., 2018. Comparative Survey of Various Approaches of the Laws & Regulations in Relation to Electronic Signatures & Security thereof. J. Pol. & L., 11, p.28.

Falk, M. and Hagsten, E., 2015. E-commerce trends and impacts across Europe. International Journal of Production Economics, 170, pp.357-369.

Gillies, L.E., 2016. Electronic commerce and international private law: A study of electronic consumer contracts. Routledge.

Khan, S.S., 2017. Jurisdiction of Court in E-Commerce Consumer Contracts: Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand. International Journal of Business and Management, 1(2), pp.137-143.

Lauristin, M., 2017. Draft Report on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the respect for private life and the protection of personal data in electronic communications and repealing Directive 2002/58/EC (Regulation on Privacy and Electronic Communications). European Parliament, Sep,pp.30-60

Lim, S.F.W., Jin, X. and Srai, J.S., 2018. Consumer-driven e-commerce: A literature review, design framework, and research agenda on last-mile logistics models. International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, 48(3), pp.308-332.

Music, T.M.F.V.S., 2017. Mc Fadden. IIC-International Review of Intellectual Property and Competition Law, 48(1), pp.92-93.

Shardow, L.G. and Mensah, R.M.O., 2018. A PROPOSED HARMONISATION FRAMEWORK FOR E-COMMERCE WEBSITES ACROSS THE GLOBE.

Todd, P., 2017. E-commerce Law. Routledge-Cavendish.

Trends, E.C., Falk, M. and Hagsten, E., 2015. To appear in: Intern. Journal of Production Economics.

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