The Imperative of Digital Trade


Global trade faces significant threats: growing uncertainty and increased protectionism could unravel decades of positive integration and connectivity. Amid these concerns, technological innovation provides hope and a renewed opportunity for strategic growth through trade.

The emergence of ‘digital trade’, predicated on innovative technologies such as artificial intelligence, internet-of-things, fintech platforms and blockchain, could bring considerable benefits….

Enhanced transparency, improved trade flows and increased efficiency across complex global networks and supply chains are just a few of the purported upsides. But adoption of trade-technologies has been slow; the magnitude of the holistic shift required across industries and geographies means that companies, governments and those with vested interests in a healthy global-trade landscape must act quickly or risk losing out.

Against this backdrop, this year’s Symposium, will gather corporate leaders, financiers, technologists, regulators and leading thinkers across the global trade landscape to debate the opportunity presented by digital trade in creating a roadmap for the future. Sessions will review the state of digital trade today, debate the value of emerging technologies, provide practical solutions to real-life problems, and enable decision-makers to effect positive change – for their businesses, industries, economies and societies.

The Symposium will address the following and in doing so, provide much-needed insight.

Digital trade in a new world order: What is the digital trade vision and where can it lead us? As global trade faces up to increasing macroeconomic, geopolitical and social challenges, there is a growing need for technology to help deliver sustainable, inclusive and fair trade.

Digital trade realities: We shine a spotlight on digital trade, investigating its potential and the reality of progress today. What must regulators, business leaders and trade practitioners know about these realities along with the latest trends and advances in the technologies that underpin them? What are the regional initiatives and how is the global trade landscape evolving because of it?

Foundations for progress: Looking to the future, we will envision a digital trade environment and examine the practical implications for companies and governments. How can the trade ecosystem collaborate and leverage the digital opportunity to steer economies through an unpredictable future? What should corporates, finance firms and other key players do now to embrace the opportunities? Will digitalisation accelerate sustainability and make a positive impact on open and inclusive trade?

The global trade community needs to co-operate to achieve the ‘promised’ digital trade benefits in today’s uncertain world.