Event

UNCTAD eCommerce Week Data and Digitalization for Development

World Bank and GIZ
April 26, 2022
3 pm (CET)
Online

In recent years there has been a sharp increase in digital services trade, i.e. services delivered remotely over ICT networks, which was further boosted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This trend entails significant implications for development, as digital services trade offers opportunities for diversifying exports and opening new markets. As the crisis continues and traditional trading options continue to decline, digitalization and the remote delivery of services could be material for building back better. Digital services trade is also an area that is included into various negotiating agendas on the regional as well as global level. But despite its global expansion, potential and promise, not least in mitigating the effects of the pandemic, few developing countries have succeeded in making digital services a substantial component of their export offer. Does this mean that developing countries have little to gain from digital services trade? What is the role of digital services in the developing world? What are the the dynamics of digital services trade and its impact on developing countries?

This session focused on the impact of digital services trade on growth and development, including by furthering the integration of MSMEs and women in international trade. The discussion addressed trade flows on digital services to and from developing countries, the key regulations that support digital services, and the challenges faced by digital services providers in the developing world. Policymakers, international experts, and stakeholders wild build on GIZ and WB research and their experience to offer guidance on the role of development cooperation in realizing the growth and inclusion opportunities associated with trade in digital services.

General objectives:

  • Understanding the scale and scope of digital services trade in developing countries, including its role for building back better.
  • Reviewing regulatory approaches for digital trade in services and their policy implications.
  • Discussing ways how developing countries can deal with these prospects in a policy context and secure their place in digital services value chains.
  • Assessing capacity-building needs and priorities of developing countries in the area of digital trade in services.
  • Considering the possible role of development cooperation to help realize the development opportunities associated with digital trade in services, especially with regards to greater participation of MSMEs and women in international trade.

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Speakers:

Nandini Chami

Deputy Director, IT for Change

Erik van der Marel

Senior Economist, European Center for International Political Economy (ECIPE)

Clarisse Iribagiza

Founder and CEO of HeHe Limited, eTrade for Women advocate

Martín Molinuevo

Senior Counsel, Trade and Regional Integration, World Bank Group

Lorrayne Porciuncula​

Executive Director​, Datasphere Initiative

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