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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Global value chains in the age of internet: what opportunities for Africa?

This chapter analyses the impact of the internet on global value chains (GVCs) in Africa. We investigate the effect of internet adoption on forward participation and backward participation of African countries in GVCs. We conduct the estimations using country-level data from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) Eora GVC database and firm-level data from the World Bank’s Enterprise Survey. We test whether internet adoption facilitates the participation of Africa in GVCs at the country level and the firm level. We find that internet use and internet infrastructure are more important for African firms and African countries in terms of forward GVC participation. To conclude, empirical results show that the internet increases GVC participation in Africa. African countries and firms need to improve internet infrastructure in order to make the best of integration into GVCs.

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