eTrade is cross-border paperless trade. It is an overarching topic that covers the import-export cycle for goods and services between countries, addressing areas like:
- Online buying or selling of goods or services from any part of the world;
- Transferring goods or services across borders, including the exchange of paperless documents between businesses and government, and delivering these goods or services to the buyer.
The EU is a single market that allows the free exchange of goods, services and relevant information supported by standardised technology and frameworks between its member states. Among the Eastern partner countries, however, there is lack of harmonisation in paperless trade procedures, both among the countries and with the EU. For example, electronic invoices and contracts are not equally recognised from one country to another.
Through its EU4Digital initiative, the European Union supports trade harmonisation between the EU and the Eastern partner countries – Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. It also supports trade harmonisation among the Eastern partner countries themselves.