Digital Trade

Overview

How can we ensure technology drives innovative, inclusive and efficient trade growth in the digital era? 

The Fourth Industrial Revolution – associated with rapid technological change and digitalization – has already had a profound impact on the way we trade. Digital trade in services is among the most dynamic sectors in the global economy and could be further harnessed for the recovery process, as evidenced by the role of digital payments and cross-border data flows in response to COVID-19. However, despite the tech development, barriers to digital trade continue to exist. Those include outdated rules and regulations, new forms of protectionism, and the lack of international collaboration on global digital governance, to name just a few.

To navigate the opportunities and challenges associated with digital trade, the Digital Trade team engages the foremost political, business, cultural and other leaders of society to shape global, regional, and industry agendas on digital trade. 

Portfolio Projects

Digital Economy Agreement Leadership (DEAL) Group 

The DEAL Group aims to create a level playing field with digital economy stakeholders and contribute to the growth of inclusive and sustainable digital economies around the world.

Digital Payments Advisory Committee 

The Advisory Committee convenes principal-level meetings to drive greater interoperability and inclusivity as well as more coherent regulatory reforms for digital payments.

Trade Finance 

The Trade Finance project explores ways to close the $1.7 trillion trade finance gap and harness the use of new trade finance-relevant technology to boost inclusive and sustainability.

TradeTech 

The TradeTech project maps the nexus between emerging digital technologies and international trade and facilitates discussion on public policy and regulatory practices on digital trade.

Cross-Border Data Flows

The Cross-Border Data Flows project examines the ever changing impacts of data transfer mechanisms and promotes greater interoperability among global arrangements on this novel governance issue.

Highlights

Digital Economy Agreement Leadership (DEAL) Group

In July 2022, the first DEAL Group workshop on “Accelerating ASEAN’s Digital Economy Integration” convened nearly 50 stakeholders from governments which have signed DEAs or are interested in signing DEAs, the private sector, civil society and academia to identify digital economy opportunities and challenges, and the role DEAs can play in the region.

WTO-WEF joint publication on TradeTech

In April 2022, a joint publication was launched with the World Trade Organization to facilitate the development of explicit rules through trade agreements and provide legal certainty on emerging issues related to the digital field. Read more about the impact of this project in the report “The promise of TradeTech: Policy approaches to harness trade digitalization." The webcast of the launch event is available here

Payments to Advance Growth for All (PAGA) 

In July 2021, a joint project was launched with the Inter-American Development Bank (IaDB) to promote greater utilization of digital payments in Latin America and the Caribbean. Read more about the impact of this project in the report "Accelerating Digital Payments in Latin America and the Caribbean."

Facilitation 2.0 Papua New Guinea 

In November 2020, funded by the Government of Australia, a project was to assist Papua New Guinea in advancing business-driven reforms at the intersection of trade facilitation, investment, e-commerce and digital payments. Read more about the impact of this project in the report "Facilitation 2.0: Trade and Investment in the Digital Age."

How to get involved?

E-mail us to find out how you can make a difference.

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