The annual UNCTAD report analyses, from a development perspective, recent trends and advances in information and communication technologies (ICT), such as e-commerce and e-business, and examines their applications in developing countries. The report proposes strategic options to assist developing countries in designing national policies to take advantage of ICT. It also aims to contribute to the debates at the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS).
The report begins with an overview of general ICT and e-commerce trends and goes on to discuss issues of major policy and strategic concern in many countries: the effect of ICT on productivity, the key elements of national e-strategies, and the implications of open-source and free software for ICT and economic development.
The report then turns to a discussion of sectoral issues and reviews the application of ICT in business process outsourcing, the marketing of agricultural products, and the use of online dispute resolution systems to resolve commercial conflicts.
The report also addresses one cross-cutting issue relevant for countries at all levels of development - gender imbalances
related to the digital economy.

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