Open Journal of Social Sciences
Vol.2 No.6(2014), Article ID:46692,9 pages DOI:10.4236/jss.2014.26053

Regional Cooperation―Electronic Commerce Impact

Xhensila Abazi1, Blandor Abazi2

1Department of Economics, Faculty of Economics, “AleksandërXhuvani” University, Elbasan, Albania

2Legal Department, Albtelecom PLC, Elbasan, Albania


Copyright © 2014 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution International License (CC BY).

Received 20 April 2014; revised 24 May 2014; accepted 1 June 2014


Albania has become an important factor of security, peace and stability in the region. Albania has a great development potential, deriving its comparative advantages from its geographical position, human resources and physical endowments. Proximity to European markets and favorable climate conditions are positive factors for the agricultural sector. Becoming part of international transport corridors will raise the importance of the country in the development of regional trade [1] . Albania is also an attractive tourist destination as a result of its natural beauty and rich cultural heritage but now days it can’t be understood the development of a country without considering the others. As the Sustainable Development requires, we must consider the world as a system and being aware that air pollution from a country affects air quality on the other countries. When we think of the world as a system we also understand that quality of life is a system too. At this context, there are several actions that can contribute to the regional cooperation as well as the well being of a country and its citizens. The focus of this manuscript is to describe the electronic commerce impact, advantages and barriers related to e-commerce implementation as well as a SWOT1 analysis of Albania and other countries. The manuscript is well documented as a scientific research paper.

Keywords:E-Commerce2, Sustainable Development, Regional Cooperation, Integration

1. Introduction

The development of regional cooperation is in the best interests of all the western Balkan countries: it is a key factor for establishing political stability, security and economic prosperity. It corresponds to a commitment made by the countries of the region at the EU—Western Balkans Summits of Zagreb (2000) and Thessaloniki (2003). Regional cooperation is a cornerstone of the EU’s policy framework for the western Balkans—the stabilization and association process, which offers to the countries of the region the possibility of eventual EU membership.

Many of the challenges facing the western Balkan countries are not only common to them but also have a cross-border dimension, which involves their regional neighbors. The different set of reasons—political, economic and security—for which regional cooperation in the western Balkans is crucial, are closely interlinked: for instance, regional stability and security are needed for economic development, which in turn favors stability and security in the region.

The western Balkan countries have now realized that they have responsibilities towards each other and that they have many challenges in common, some of a cross-border nature. They see now the considerable benefits of increasingly close regional cooperation—political understanding, economic and social prosperity.

Extended regional cooperation in south-eastern Europe is essential, regardless of the different stage of integration of the various countries, and an important criterion for the European course of the western Balkan countries. The stability, prosperity and security of the region are of significant interest to the EU. The EU will continue to foster all endeavors to promote regional cooperation [2] .

2. Main Dimensions of Regional Cooperation

There are three main dimensions of regional cooperation: the political dimension, the economic dimension and the security dimension.

2.1. Political Dimension

Political will and commitment by the countries of the region are key to promoting regional cooperation in its various forms, whether in the field of economy, infrastructure or justice and home affairs.

Regional cooperation is a specific requirement under the stabilization and association agreements. Rapprochement with the EU will go hand in hand with the development of regional cooperation in the western Balkans.

Enhanced regional cooperation is one of the major objectives set down in the Thessaloniki agenda, endorsed in the EU—Western Balkans Summit of June 2003, to strengthen the stabilization and association process. The western Balkan countries committed themselves to continue to develop regional cooperation and to promote a series of specific objectives with regard to regional free trade, the creation of regional markets for electricity and gas, the development of transport, energy and telecommunication infrastructures, the environment, research technology and development, cross-border and parliamentary cooperation, and a number of other areas.

Sustainable return of refugees and internally displaced persons is critical for ethnic reconciliation and is an indicator of democratic maturity [2] .

2.2. Economic Dimension

Regional cooperation is essential for increasing prosperity and economic growth. Economic development is a key issue if the western Balkan countries are to make better, faster progress towards European integration.

In many areas, such as trade, energy and transport, because of the limited size of each western Balkan country and the fragmentation of the economic space in the region, there is no other option but to embark on intense regional cooperation as the only realistic way forward. Enhanced regional cooperation in the economic field is just plain common sense.

Through regional cooperation, a business environment will be created in the western Balkans that will provide for foreign and national direct investments, that will create much needed jobs and that will encourage individual initiatives, and so add to an increase in the living standard of the whole population.

Infrastructure development is of vital importance for developing the economies of the western Balkans; it is an initial and indispensable requirement for an increase in economic growth [2] .

2.3. Security Dimension

Regional cooperation is instrumental in addressing the security challenges facing the region, since many urgent issues, such as organized crime and corruption, or integrated border management and illegal migration, can be effectively addressed only by a trans-border approach.

Efforts to address the criminal threats to the stabilization and development of the region, as to the very security of the EU, will only be successful if the western Balkan countries and the EU work together to fight corruption and transnational organized crime, which prevents legitimate economic growth and undermines democratic rule of law and democratic stability in the region.

Organized crime and corruption are threats to security and democratic stability, and obstacles to the rule of law and economic development in the region. Combating organized crime and corruption is a key priority for the governments of the region. Particular focus is being placed upon fighting all forms of trafficking, particularly of human beings, drugs and arms, as well as smuggling of goods. Strengthening the regional operational cooperation for police and prosecution is considered a key priority for the countries of the region [2] .

3. E-Commerce Impact

Since the development of globalization approach and the invention of faster internet connectivity and powerful online tools has resulted in a new commerce arena, E-commerce.

3.1. Global Trends

In 2010, the United Kingdom had the biggest e-commerce market in the world when measured by the amount spent per capita. The Czech Republic is the European country where ecommerce delivers the biggest contribution to the enterprises’ total revenue. Almost a quarter (24%) of the country’s total turnover is generated via the online channel.

With 384 million internet users, China’s online shopping sales rose to $36.6 billion in 2009 and one of the reasons behind the huge growth has been the improved trust level for shoppers. The Chinese retailers have been able to help consumers feel more comfortable shopping online. China’s cross-border e-commerce is also growing rapidly. E-commerce transactions between China and other countries increased 32% to ($375.8 billion) in 2012 and accounted for 9.6% of China’s total international trade.

In Russia, the total ecommerce market is projected to total somewhere between 690 billion rubles ($23 billion) and 900 billion rubles ($30 billion) in 2015, at 2010 values. This will equal 5% of total retail volume in Russia. Longer-term, the market size of Russian e-commerce could reach $50 billion by 2020. Ecommerce players need to understand unique insights about trust factor, online payments and language peculiarities to penetrate the Russian market. Brazil’s ecommerce is growing quickly with retail ecommerce sales expected to grow at a healthy double-digit pace through 2014. By 2016, e-marketer expects retail ecommerce sales in Brazil to reach $17.3 billion. India’s ecommerce growth, on the other hand, has been slower although the country’s potential remains solid considering its surging economy, the rapid growth of internet penetration, English language proficiency and a vast market of 1.2 billion consumers (although perhaps only 50 million access the internet through PCs and some estimate the most active group of e-commerce customers numbers only 2 - 3 million). E-commerce traffic grew about 50% from 2011 to 2012, from 26.1 million to 37.5 million, according to a report released by Com Score [3] . Still much of the estimated 14 billion dollars in 2012 ecommerce was generated from travel sites.

Ecommerce is also expanding across the Middle East, having recorded the world’s fastest growth in internet usage between 2000 and 2009. Retail, travel and gaming are the region’s top ecommerce segments, in spite of difficulties such as the lack of region-wide legal frameworks and logistical problems in cross-border transportation. Ecommerce has become an important tool for small and large businesses worldwide, not only to sell to customers, but also to engage them.

In 2012, e-commerce sales topped $1 trillion for the first time in history.

According to EMOTA3, the prediction for the European E-commerce turnover in 2013 was to reach