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WTO reform key to driving digital trade

In today's digital age, efficient trade relies on seamless data flows and harmonized digital rules. While the world is technically equipped to bring this to fruition, governments and international organisations must first demonstrate their commitment to this goal.

Despite predictions of ‘deglobalization,’ global trade is back to pre-pandemic levels but remains fragile due to geopolitical tensions and protectionist policies.

The World Trade Organisation (WTO), crucial for multilateral trade cooperation, requires reform to meet the unique challenges presented by modern-day digital trade. Digital technology underpins modern supply chains, necessitating robust WTO action for seamless data flows. It is thus imperative that an agreement to address digital trade barriers be reached and adopted.

Trade facilitation is the key factor that promises to sustain global supply chains. In this, the WTO has a vital role to play - the 2017 WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement, which has already increased trade by $230 billion, must see full implementation.

Since its inception in 1995, the WTO remains the "best conduit for multilateral trade cooperation", the author asserts. As such, its reform and strengthening is our best bet for the continued flourishing of global digital trade.

Article by John WH Denton for The Hinrich Foundation. Read more here or in the PDF below.

WTO reform key to driving re-globalization _ Article _ Hinrich Foundation
Download PDF • 209KB


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