New WTO publication looks at impact of digital technologies on developing countries

A new WTO publication launched on January 28, 2021 looks at how the rapid adoption of digital technologies can create challenges and opportunities for developing countries. The publication — written by chairholders and Advisory Board members of the WTO Chairs Programme and by WTO Secretariat staff — examines the role of domestic policy and international cooperation in creating a more prosperous and inclusive future for these countries.

The WTO Chairs Programme aims to enhance understanding of the multilateral trading system among academics and policy makers in developing countries through curriculum development, research and outreach activities by universities and research institutions.

Through a variety of case studies, the book illustrates how countries in different regions view the opportunities and challenges of digital technologies and how policy makers are responding to them.

The publication, entitled “Adapting to the digital trade era: challenges and opportunities”, considers how technological advancement such as the growth of e-commerce and the development of blockchain technology may contribute to inclusive growth. It also looks into what needs to be done at the domestic and regional level to take full advantage of the opportunities offered in the new digital trade era. 

The publication is an important result of the second phase of the WTO Chairs Programme, which was funded by the governments of the Netherlands and France. ​​

The publication can be downloaded here. Printed copies can be purchased from the WTO’s Online Bookshop.