Electronic commerce or e-commerce promises to be an exciting and innovative change to the way that trade is currently conducted. The methods of doing business are changing rapidly and the amount of business conducted on the internet is growing and will continue to flourish. E-commerce represents both an opportunity and a threat to international trade and the environment. Currently, there is no substantial data to support either position. In addition, there are no policies or regulations that are specifically designed for environmental issues in e-commerce. Organizations that are responsible for monitoring and implementing international trade policies and practices such as the World Trade Organization (WTO), European Union (EU), the United States Department of Commerce (DOC) and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have only just begun to study the effects of e-commerce or have yet to review all of the issues involved. E-commerce will, in the near future, change not only the way trade is conducted, but will also change the volume of goods traded between countries. E-commerce is also changing manufacturing and distribution systems, product design, and the relationship between the producer and consumer. Whether or not the effects of these changes will be positive for developed and developing countries is yet to be determined. The changes to the current trading volume could have a negative effect on some international environmental objectives such as sustainable development. There is also a potential for developing countries to be further exploited by developed countries as e-commerce matures. In addition, there are questions as to whether the internet will increase the "digital divide" between the "have and have-nots."
Prof. Dr. Bilal BİLGİN