Adapting to the digital trade era: challenges and opportunities



WTO Chairs Programme | WTO

Digital innovations are transforming the global economy. The decline in search and information costs, rapid growth of new products and markets, and emergence of new players ushered in by digital technologies have the promise of boosting global trade flows, including exports from developing countries. At the same time, digital technologies are also threatening privacy and security worldwide, while developing countries that lack the tools to compete in the new digital environment are in danger of being left even further behind.

This book from the World Trade Organization (WTO) Chairs, members of the Advisory Board and WTO Secretariat staff examines what the rapid adoption of digital technologies will mean for trade and development and the role that domestic policies and international cooperation can play in creating a more prosperous and inclusive future.

The first section identifies the challenges and opportunities posed by digital technologies to developing countries and the role of international cooperation, whether regionally or in the WTO, in addressing them. The second section discusses how countries in different developing regions view the opportunities and challenges of digital technologies and how policymakers are responding to them. The third section considers examples of how digital advances, for example the growth of e-commerce and the development of blockchain technology, may contribute to inclusive growth. The fourth and final section discusses the role of domestic policies and regional approaches to digital trade and offers some key findings.


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