ESCAP

ESCAP-2024-WP-Trade-digitalization-index-new-tool-assessing-global-state-of-play-digitalization-trade procedures.pdf

Trade digitalization index : a new tool for assessing the global state of play in the digitalization of trade procedures

This paper introduces the Trade Digitalization Index (TDI) for assessing global progress in digitalizing trade procedures, a new metric based on data from the UN Global Survey on Digital and Sustainable Trade Facilitation. The TDI provides a measure of the integration of information and communication technologies into international trade processes, focusing on the implementation of two groups of measures: ‘paperless trade’ and ‘cross-border paperless trade’. The TDI scores highlight wide disparities across the 163 countries covered in implementation of trade digitalization measures. While progress has been made between 2021 and 2023, a digitalization gap exists between high and low-income countries. To address it and further accelerate progress, the paper emphasizes the importance of collaborative efforts, international standards, and legal harmonization. It concludes by underscoring the potential of TDI as a tool for policymakers, international organizations, and researchers, and suggests avenues for future development and application of the index in fostering global trade digitalization.

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