Exploring Digital-trade Regulations to Promote Inclusive and Sustainable Regional Integration in Asia and the Pacific

2:00 pm
 – 4:30 pm

Digital trade has opened up new opportunities for governments to leverage trade for economic and sociatal objectives. Fostering integration through digital trade is crucial for many developing countries to achieve sustainable growth in the 21st century. Digitalisation entails several potential socio-economic benefits. Yet, the benefits of digital trade are not shared equally. The access to new opportunities in the least developed countries (LDCs) and for the Micro-, Small- and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) is still relatively low.

As a preliminary step towards building a greater understanding of the digital trade policy environment in the Asia-Pacific region, ESCAP, in collaboration with the OECD, has published the Asia-Pacific Digital Trade Regulatory Report (APDTR) 2022 on the regulatory analysis done for selected countries. The report summarizes the key findings and insights across selected economies in their regulatory databases.

The report finds that different countries follow different regulatory approaches. Acknowledging that there is no “one-size-fits-all” solution, the report aims to provide a platform for sharing experiences. Starting with evidence-based dialogues could facilitate the identification of common ground for promoting regulatory cooperation and interoperability in the long run. This platform can also help understand economies’ capacity constraints and explore the possibility of technical assistance and policy advisories.

In this webinar, ESCAP and OECD will present their report findings. A panel session will follow it to discuss the way forward for regulatory cooperation among the economies in the Asia-Pacific region. The discussions would also focus on the needs of countries in special situations, including the LDCs, Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDs), and the technical assistance required to meet their sustainable development goals and sustainable graduation of LDCs.