WTO Chairs Programme – Adapting to the digital trade era: challenges and opportunities
Published 09 March 2021 | 1 minute read
"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.
The report 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 cooperation can play in creating a more prosperous and inclusive future for these countries.
It notes that technological change will boost trade growth, as a result of both falling trade costs and the more intensive use of information and communications technology (ICT) services. On average, between now and 2030 global trade growth would be 2 percentage points per annum higher as a result of digital technologies. Further, developing countries’ trade growth would be 2.5 percentage points per annum higher and the increase in their share of global trade will be more pronounced the faster they are able to catch up technologically.
The report finds that services exports will become a bigger part of global trade, making up more than a quarter of total trade by 2030, and technological changes tend to increase the share of services imports in manufacturing gross output. Finally, these technological developments do not appear to portend a reshoring or localization of production, suggesting that future technological change can go in hand-in-hand with continuing globalization.
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