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Adapting to the Digital Trade Era

Challenges and Opportunities

image of Adapting to the Digital Trade Era

Adapting to the digital trade era: challenges and opportunities looks at how the rapid adoption of digital technologies could help developing countries increase their participation in world trade. It also reviews the role that domestic policies and international co-operation can play in creating a more prosperous and inclusive future for these countries. This publication marks the conclusion of the second phase of the WTO Chairs Programme (WCP). It brings together contributions from the WCP Chairholders of Phases I and II, Advisory Board members, the WCP team at the WTO and other WTO Secretariat staff. The WCP is an important part of the WTO's efforts to build trade capacity and to work jointly with academic institutions in developing countries.

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Converging thoughts on digital trade in preparing for the future

There is a growing convergence on the view that the factor having had the most significant impact on trade in recent years is the introduction of new and innovative technologies. The speed and intensity of the IT evolution are affecting trade and more generally our day-to-day lives in unprecedented ways. It has rendered interactions possible between humans, between humans and machines and between machines in ways that could not be imagined even a few years ago. The digital era is a new reality, and it is driving economic growth and development. It poses both challenges and opportunities on all levels. It offers an opportunity for developing countries to better participate in international trade, e.g. through global value chains (GVCs), but there is no prescription how to do that.

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