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India Publishes Discussion Paper on E-Commerce

The Indian Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) has issued a white paper with an aim to gather input from interested parties on foreign direct investment (FDI) in business-to-consumer (B2C) electronic commerce (e-commerce) in India. The white paper's introductory language defines the two major e-commerce categories (i.e., B2C and business-to-business (B2B)), in addition to the marketplace-based and inventory-based e-commerce models that characterize both B2C and B2B. The white paper then provides an overview of the status of (i) the global e-commerce industry, (ii) e-commerce in emerging economies, and (iii) the e-commerce sector in India. This overview asserts that e-commerce has made fewer inroads in India, as compared to other emerging economies, largely due to India’s low 11 percent Internet penetration rate, and notes that most e-commerce transactions in India are B2B and occur under the marketplace-based model.

The final section of the white paper poses eight questions to interested stakeholders regarding the pros and cons of liberalizing the domestic B2C e-commerce FDI rules. DIPP requests that stakeholders submit input in response to such questions by January 30, 2014.

Stakeholders may email input to [email protected].

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