Jointly implemented by ICTSD and World Economic Forum, the E15Initiative (E15) seeks to turn old and new challenges facing the global trade system into opportunities. The initiative engages world-class institutions and experts in defining the ideas, strategies and scenarios for how the global trade system can meet the challenges and demands of the world economy and sustainable development today and in 2025. Grouped into 15 thematic issues, over 200 E15 members, foremost experts from academia, practitioners, business, and former policy makers, are asked to commit their knowledge and expertise to develop policy options that reflect the best thinking in the field.
The E15 expert group on Trade and Innovation will be meeting for the third time in Geneva, Switzerland on Monday, June 2 and Tuesday, June 3 to continue their discussions on topics at the intersection of trade and innovation, including digital trade, intellectual property rights (IPRs), research and development, and trade secrets. Innovation and new technologies are key drivers of economic growth and job creation. While trade liberalisation and investment flows contribute to technology diffusion and innovation, absorptive capacity plays a key role and the strengthening of national innovation capabilities can improve a country’s ability to engage in and benefit from international trade. Promoting innovation is thus a critical policy objective pursued by many governments in the context of a changing global landscape where global value chains have become a key conduit for technology diffusion, ICT goods and services are important drivers of business and growth, and intellectual property is a strategic asset for achieving a competitive edge in global markets.
Despite its growing prominence in the global agenda, innovation has received relatively little attention as a self-standing all-encompassing issue in the multilateral trading system. There is no single overarching WTO agreement that deals with innovation. Innovation related policies and measures span a wide range of WTO disciplines and rules relating to subsidies, intellectual property, information technology, investment, trade in services, and government procurement. Against this background, there is a pressing need for a fresh look at the trade and innovation nexus. The task of the expert group is to explore options to enhance the contribution of the global trading system in support of global and national innovation efforts.
Attendance at this event is by invitation only.