E-commerce discussions in Geneva, in regional capitals, and beyond are grappling with the challenges of formulating appropriate policy responses to the digital transformation of trade. The literature is clear, e-commerce has the potential to bring significant development benefits, but these will not be automatic. Moreover, significant gaps in capacity, capital and skills could imperil the equitable distribution of the benefits of digital transformation and prevent them reaching the world’s poor.
Moving from the theoretical to the practical is a challenge. The rise of the digital economy is marked by an increasing concentration of market shares, and a growing sense of tension between the public interests and the consolidation of big data based companies. Governments, particularly in the developing world, look at this situation with scepticism and wonder what is needed to evolve from takers to value creators.
This workshop will look at the relationship between e-commerce and development both from a policy and a trade negotiations perspective. In doing so, we will address questions around the nature of special and differential treatment and its evolution, the relevance of competition policy in the context of the digital economy, and the shaping of trade negotiations, particularly at the WTO.
Attendance to this event is by invitation only.
The context setting is done by Ricardo Meléndez-Ortiz, Chief Executive of ICTSD.