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eTrade for all

WTO Public Forum 2022 | Discover our Handpicked Sessions

Discover our hand-picked sessions organized by eTrade for all partners on e-commerce and the digital economy:


Session 5: Working Session

Leveraging Digital Tools to Connect MSMEs with Global Markets

Organizer(s): Misión Permanente de México ante la OMC, International Trade Centre (ITC), WTO Informal Working Group on MSMES

This session explores key digital platforms and resources designed specifically to assist MSMEs in making informed and sustainable business decisions, getting access to finance, finding the right business partners, and successfully completing their export transaction. It looks at concrete tools and initiatives that focus on connecting MSMEs to regional and global markets.


Session 26: Working Session

The Prominent Role of Disruptive Technologies and E-Commerce for an Inclusive Post-Pandemic Economic Recovery: The Customs Perspective

Organizer(s): World Customs Organization (WCO), WCO Private Sector Consultative Group (WCO PSCG)

The panel focuses on how customs can contribute to a post-pandemic recovery through digitalization and transformation. It will also consider the role of disruptive technologies as well as facilitation of e-commerce for an inclusive recovery. The panel discusses the importance of public-private partnerships to achieve these goals in terms of the accelerated implementation of technologies and facilitation of e-commerce for a fast recovery, from the Customs perspective. Panellists also explore the important initiatives, programmes, and tools for supporting members in terms of the implementation of disruptive technologies and facilitation of e-commerce.


Session 31: High-level panel

Leveraging Technology for an Inclusive Recovery

Organizer(s): World Trade Organization (WTO)

The panel of global thought leaders discuss how trade can narrow digital gaps by leveraging technology to promote an inclusive economic recovery while ensuring a fair, safe and sustainable marketplace. In particular, this distinguished panel deliberates on how trade can support micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in harnessing the power of technological transformation to better integrate into global economy. Drawing lessons from the current polycrisis —the pandemic, climate change, geopolitical tensions, and food insecurity, the panelists also shed light on why technology is essential to prepare MSMEs for future pandemics and other crises.


Session 56: Working Session

Shedding New Light on the Evolving Regulatory Framework for Digital Services Trade

Organizer(s): Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)

Recent efforts to measure the regulatory environment affecting digital trade, including the OECD Digital Services Trade Restrictiveness Index, have shown that the measures that affect digital trade are on the rise and that there is a wide heterogeneity across regions. Drawing on the work undertaken with three UN regional commissions (UNECLAC, UNESCAP and UNECA), this session presents new insights on the nature, evolution, and drivers of digital trade restrictiveness in North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Africa, and Latin America.


Session 71: Working Session

Industry 4.0 Technologies and Value-Added Services: Opportunities and challenges for LDCs

Organizer(s): Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of Cambodia to the WTO and other International Organizations, Consumer Unity & Trust Society International, Geneva (CUTS International)

This working session informs about the challenges and opportunities of integrating industry 4.0 technologies in LDCs’ value-added services and discusses ways to support them reap the fruits of the digital age for increased integration in global value chains.

The objectives of this session are to: (i) learn about Industry 4.0 technologies’ applications for enhanced value-added services; (ii) share government and private sector perspectives about the challenges and opportunities of integrating industry 4.0 technologies in LDCs’ value-added services; and (iii) explore current initiatives to support LDCs to reap the fruits of Industry 4.0 and what else can be done.


Session 94: Workshop

Trustworthy Data Spaces: A Dialogue Between North and South

Organizer(s): Diplo Foundation, Swiss Federal Office of Communications, OFCOM, Switzerland (OFCOM, Switzerland), Geneva Internet Platform (GIP)

This session addresses data sharing and data flows from national and international perspectives. It aims to establish a bridge between proposals advanced by actors in the Global North and in the Global South, such as Switzerland’s proposal of trustworthy data spaces, Japan’s proposal of data free flows with trust and India’s notion of community data. The panel discusses how these different proposals could contribute to promoting a more equal distribution of benefits in the data economy and to shed light on current negotiations on data flows taking place at the WTO.


Session 128: Working Session

Digital Trade Innovations for a Sustainable and Inclusive Recovery Through Increased Intra-African Trade

Organizer(s): United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), African e-Trade Group (AeTrade)

In this session, ECA, Afreximbank, AeTrade, and Senegal’s Minister of Digital Economy unpack how innovations in digital trade, including in e-commerce, finance, trade facilitation, and the wider ecosystem can accelerate economic recovery through increased intra-African trade. Panelists investigate how these digital innovations are addressing issues of entrepreneurship, youth and women empowerment, job creation, trade barriers, and access to affordable finance, and how these tools can be further leveraged to support economic recovery. The session concludes with recommendations for their widespread development and use for Africa’s sustainable and inclusive recovery.


Session 139: Working Session

Governing Data for Global Data Flows and Exchanges for Digital Trade

Organizer(s): IT for Change (ITfC), the South Centre, Transnational Institute, Amsterdam (TNI)

Data being a digital society’s key resource, there is no gainsaying the importance of its effective governance. However, beyond privacy issues, data governance remains poorly developed. Allocating appropriate rights and responsibilities for economic value and use of data can ensure its most productive as well as fair use. The consent and participation in data use of people and communities who are the subjects of data would ensure the best use of our often finite resources. Governing data as an economic resource has to take place in conjunction with data’s other social, cultural and political roles in the society. UNCTAD’s 2021 Digital Economy Report called for a holistic Global Data Governance Framework. Such a framework should then inform global digital trade, ensuring a digital economy that is most productive and fair, globally, and within nations. This workshop would discuss the why, what, and how of a global data governance framework.