Calibrating Aid for Trade to the digital era

July 28
10:30 am 
– 11:30 am
 (BST)
Zoom
Commonwealth

Organised by the Commonwealth Secretariat, Enhanced Integrated Framework and the World Economic Forum, the thematic focus of the session is on solutions to build capacity for developing countries to engage fully and effectively in digital trade. This aligns most closely with the Global Review’s themes of “connectivity and empowerment” and “future priorities”.  

Engaging in digital trade can help to reduce transaction and trade costs, make it easier to participate in global value chains, and improve market access and reach, in the process helping to expand and diversify exports. Yet, in many developing countries, the uptake of digital technologies and participation in digital trade has been limited to date due to a lack of digital infrastructure and capacity issues related to shortages in digital skills and capabilities. Stark disparities in these areas between countries have contributed to significant digital divides and large variation in levels of readiness to engage in digital trade. As a result, digital trade flows are highly concentrated in a few mostly developed or large developing economies.

This webinar will unpack the challenges hindering developing countries from harnessing the manifold benefits presented by digital trade. Drawing on insights from two studies published by the Commonwealth Secretariat as well as country experiences and projects supported by the Enhanced Integrated Framework, it will also consider pragmatic solutions to enable developing countries to participate more fully and effectively in digital trade, including through a newly invigorated Aid for Digital Trade agenda and greater focus on capacity building in digital economy agreements.

Programme

  • Welcome: Her Excellency Marie Chantal Rwakazina Ambassador of Rwanda to the United Nations Office and other international organizations, Geneva
  • The role of Aid for Trade – successes and possible new directions to build capacity for digital trade: Annette Ssemuwemba Deputy Executive Director, Enhanced Integrated Framework Executive Secretariat at the World Trade Organization
  • Harnessing development partnerships and Aid for Trade to foster digitisation of international trade: Sean Doherty Head of International Trade and Investment, World Economic Forum
  • Digital Reboot: The case for a newly invigorated Aid for Digital Trade Initiative: Simon Lacey Senior Lecturer, Institute for International Trade, University of Adelaide
  • Capacity building in Digital Economy Agreements – the missing link?: Pallavi Bajaj International Trade Policy Advisor, Partner at TCube Consulting LLP, and Digital Services Entrepreneur

Opening Remarks

  • Marie Chantal Rwakazina, Ambassador of Rwanda to the United Nations Office and other international organizations in Geneva, Rwanda

Speakers

  • Pallavi Bajaj, International Trade Policy Advisor, Partner at TCube Consulting LLP, and Digital Services Entrepreneur,
  • Sean Doherty, Head of International Trade and Investment, World Economic Forum
  • Simon Lacey, Senior Lecturer, Institute for International Trade, University of Adelaide
  • Annette Ssemuwemba, Deputy Executive Director, Enhanced Integrated Framework Executive Secretariat at the World Trade Organization