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Curbing policy fragmentation in the digital economy

The perils of unilateral governance action in the digital domain are becoming clear. Policymakers around the globe must foster a shared understanding of sound principles to regulate and nurture the digital economy. Join our upcoming webinar to learn more about increasing regulatory fragmentation in the digital space – and why further policy incoherence is not inevitable.

Even as digital platforms become ubiquitous and gain more users, policymakers are flying blind as they shape the digital domain – and turning to more regulation. This has led to mounting barriers erected by governments. Increasingly, participation in the digital economy requires overcoming dense and ever higher walls of rules, to the detriment of small businesses. A new report by Global Trade Alert co-authored by Simon Evenett and Johannes Fritz charts the rise of regulatory intervention and other barriers, and the consequences that result, including heightened geopolitical tensions. 

Can regional trade agreements and digital trade agreements offer hope? Join us in our upcoming webinar on 14 July, 2022 at 4PM SGT to discuss the extent of regulatory interventions as well as the possibilities to avert policy fragmentation in the digital domain. The digital future remains rife with uncertainties, but sharp policy analysis can help usher in more clarity.

Speakers include:

  • Simon Evenett, Founder, Global Trade Alert and Professor of International Trade and Economic Development, University of St Gallen
  • Stephanie Honey, Associate Director, New Zealand International Business Forum, and Director, Honey Consulting
  • Peter Lovelock, Principal, Fair Tech Institute, Access Partnership
  • Javier Lopez Gonzales, Senior Trade Policy Analyst, OECD

This session will be moderated by Stephen Olson, Senior Research Fellow, Hinrich Foundation.

This webinar has ended.

Simon Evenett Sw

Simon J. Evenett

Professor of International Trade and Economic Development, University of St Gallen, and Founder, Global Trade Alert

Simon is the Professor of International Trade and Economic Development at University of St Gallen, and Founder of Global Trade Alert. Simon specializes in how governments tilt the commercial playing field in favor of local firms.

At the start of the Global Financial Crisis Simon created the Global Trade Alert initiative, the leading independent monitor of protectionism and commercial policy choice based at the University of St Gallen. Simon regularly engages with private sector practitioners, government officials and other thought leaders.

He has taught at the Said Business School at the University of Oxford, the Ross School of Business, University of Michigan (where he was a Visiting Professor of Corporate Strategy three times), and Rutgers University. In addition, Prof. Evenett has served as a World Bank official twice, has been a Non-Resident Senior Fellow in the Economics Studies programme of the Brookings Institution, and a member of the UK Competition Commission. Recently, he was the DLA Piper Distinguished Visiting Professor at the Carey School of Business, Johns Hopkins University.

He holds a PhD in Economics from Yale University and a BA (Hons) in Economics from the University of Cambridge. Simon has written over 200 articles, book chapters, and volumes. He is regularly quoted in the international media.

Stephanie Honey

Stephanie Honey

Director, Honey Consulting

Stephanie Honey is the Director of Honey Consulting, providing trade policy advice to private- and public-sector clients.

Stephanie has extensive government experience, including as the New Zealand agriculture negotiator in the WTO Doha Round negotiations; as the senior official for the bilateral relationship with Australia; and a three-year posting in Brussels at the New Zealand Mission to the European Union. She is currently Associate Director of the New Zealand International Business Forum, Deputy Executive Director of the APEC Business Advisory Council, and co-founder of Global Trade Insights, a business that offers executive education in trade policy.

Peter Lovelock B+W

Peter Lovelock

Principal, Fair Tech Institute, Access Partnership

Dr Peter Lovelock is the Principal of Fair Tech Institute at Access Partnership. Between 1999 and 2004, Peter built and ran China’s leading IT research consultancy, and prior to that he was a lead policy analyst at the UN in Geneva.

Prior to its acquisition by Access Partnership, Peter Lovelock was the Director of TRPC, along with Professor John Ure. Peter and John established the Telecommunications Research Project (TRP) at the University of Hong Kong in 1993 and the Telecoms Infotechnology Forum (TIF) in 1996. Peter subsequently established the TRPC offices in Beijing (1999) and Singapore (2006) and expanded the academic collaborations in both locations, initially with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), and subsequently with Qinghua University and the National University of Singapore (NUS).

He brings more than 25 years’ experience in telecoms, technology and media to these undertakings, including regulatory assessments, implementation and execution projects, and due diligence and market entry strategic guidance projects throughout Asia.

In recent years, Dr Lovelock has provided advice to governments and companies alike regionally on digital enablement and digital transformation, including to ASEAN on its ICT Masterplan, and to APEC on the Internet and Digital Economy principles and roadmap; as well as authoring reports on global data networks and bandwidth developments, cross border data flows and the economic impacts of data localisation, digital transactions, authentication and digital identity. Dr Lovelock is also an advisor to PECC on digital and internet economy developments and sits on the board of the International Institute of Communications (IIC).


Javier Lopez Gonzalez

Javier Lopez Gonzalez

Senior Trade Policy Analyst, OECD

Mr. Javier Lopez Gonzalez currently works as a Senior Trade Policy Analyst, OECD, lead on digital trade, SMEs and GVCs. Prior to this post, he was a Trade Policy Analyst, Trade and Agriculture Directorate, OECD.

He has also worked as a consultant for EU Commission (DG Trade); the ILO (International Labor Organization); UNCTAD; the World Bank; BERR (BIS); the ECOWAS Secretariat; the Commonwealth Secretariat; FEMISE; and the WTI (World Trade Institute).

Dr. Gonzalez has over 10 years of experience in trade policy research, his work has particularly focused on the impacts of trade agreements and the rise of global value chains. In this field Dr. Gonzalez has recently co-authored papers identifying: i) global patterns of supply chain trade; ii) the implications of GVC participation for developing countries; iii) the links between GVC participation and wage inequality; and iv) how to make the most out of participation in GVCs in ASEAN.

He is now working on identifying how GVCs can offer new opportunities for SMEs by identifying the determinants of domestic linkages between SMEs and larger exporting firms. Dr. Gonzalez is also involved in work related to digital trade. He has investigated the economic impact of data localization policies on GVC activity and is now working on developing a framework for the measurement and analysis of digital trade.

Stephen Olson

Stephen Olson

Former Senior Research Fellow, Hinrich Foundation

From 2014 to January 2024, Mr. Olson was a Senior Research Fellow of the Hinrich Foundation.

Mr. Olson began his career in Washington DC as an international trade negotiator and served on the US negotiating team for the NAFTA negotiations.

He subsequently became president of the Hong Kong-based Pacific Basin Economic Council, and vice-chairman of Cairo-based ARTOC Group for investment and development. He is also a visiting scholar at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. He has a master’s degree in international relations from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and a B.A. from the State University of New York.