Digitalization and International Trade

19 December 2017 - A Open Forum on Other in Geneva, Switzerland


The shift to a digital economy, the rise of the Internet and the opportunities provided by global electronic commerce increasingly influence sustainable development. In its Information Economy Report 2017: Digitalization, Trade and Development, UNCTAD stresses that we are only seeing the beginning of digital transformations that will have major transformational effects. They will create significant opportunities for developing countries but also major challenges. For example, as more and more cross-border economic transactions go digital, it becomes increasingly important to bring the trade community and the Internet Governance community together.

The purpose of this Open Forum is three-fold: 1) to introduce IGF participants to UNCTAD's work on e-commerce and the digital economy; 2) to present the key messages from the Information Economy Report 2017; and 3) to discuss ways to initiate dialogue between the Internet and trade policy communities, particularly with respect to addressing the complex challenges of data localization and barriers to cross-border data flows.

Tag 1: Internet Economy
Tag 2: e-commerce
Tag 3: Multistakeholder Cooperation

Session Moderator: Torbjörn Fredriksson, Chief, ICT Policy Section, UNCTAD

09:00 Welcome remarks and highlights of the Information Economy Report 2017

 Mr. Torbjörn Fredriksson, Chief, ICT Analysis Section, UNCTAD

09:15 Linking the Internet and Trade Policy Communities

Mr. William J. Drake, International Fellow and Lecturer, University of Zurich

09:30 Multistakeholder Responses

H.E. Mr. Julian Braithwaite, UK Permanent Representative to the UN and WTO in Geneva

Mr. Tarek Kamel, Senior Vice President, ICANN

Ms. Anriette Esterhuysen, Director, Global Policy and Strategy, the Association for Progressive Communications

Ms. Marietje Schaake, Member of European Parliament from the Netherlands

09:55 Closing remarks

Mr. Torbjörn Fredriksson, UNCTAD

Background Paper: IGF 2017 Open Forum proposal Digitalization and International Trade.pdf
Past IGF Participation: Yes
Report Link:
Name: Mr. Torbjörn Fredriksson
Organizational Affiliation: UNCTAD

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