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EU wants to double online shopping by 2015

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EU wants to double online shopping by 2015

E-commerce

(BRUSSELS) - The European Union's executive arm launched a drive on Wednesday to encourage more people to shop online, hoping to double e-commerce and the Internet's contribution to the economy by 2015.

The Internet accounts for less than 3.0 percent of the EU economy while e-commerce represents just 3.4 percent of retail sales in the 27-nation bloc, the European Commission said.

By comparison, the Internet accounted for 20 percent of economic growth and 25 percent of job growth in some G8 countries in the past five years, it noted.

"In the difficult circumstances facing Europe we must seize every source of activity and new jobs as a matter of urgency," EU internal market commissioner Michel Barnier, digital agenda commissioner Neelie Kroes and consumer policy chief John Dalli said in a joint statement.

"The action plan we are presenting today will create new opportunities for citizens and businesses and will bring Europe much-needed growth and employment."

The commission said it would take action to remove several barriers to the development of cross-border online shopping in Europe.

Consumers sometimes see their orders refused because a business will not accept card payments or are unable to deliver the product to another EU country, the commission said.

Some people are also wary of shopping online on concerns about the security of online payments, while those who do want to buy products via the Internet encounter costly parcel deliveries or the risk that goods will arrive damaged.

Seeking to develop the market for payments via the Internet, cards and mobile phones, Brussels called for public input to find ways to remove barriers to entering these markets and increase the level of data protection.

Communication on e-commerce - guide

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