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Empowering Women-Led MSMEs to Engage in Cross-Border E-Commerce Trade through RCEP

The Regional Comprehensive Economic Agreement (RCEP) is envisioned to pave the way for the internationalization and deeper participation of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in global value chains. This Policy Note observes the rise of e-commerce among women-led MSMEs (WoMSMEs) during the COVID-19 pandemic and its positive impacts to WoMSMEs' performance in terms of sales growth, customer base, customer satisfaction, and process enhancement. However, there is a low level of awareness among WoMSME entrepreneurs on cross-border trade and government programs that support access to the global digital economy. Thus, this Policy Notes recommends that the government should raise awareness of and strengthen programs that promote e-commerce adoption and internationalization among WoMSMEs. Further, it proposes that there should be gender-disaggregated data on cross-border e-commerce participation to help identify challenges and barriers to e-commerce adoption and possible policy interventions. Lastly, the Philippines should consider investing in further research and conducting a national survey on WoMSMEs' e-commerce adoption and propensity to engage in cross-border e-commerce, which could help in the formulation of national development plans.


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