WTO highlights digital impact on world trade

WTO director general, Roberto Azevêdo.

The role of digital disruption, its effect on global trade and the necessity of a progressive and professional response has once again been highlighted on an international platform, this time by Roberto Azevêdo, director general of the World Trade Organisation.

Speaking at a meeting of the Ministerial Council of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development in Paris, Azevêdo stressed that online trading and its ever-evolving, fast-changing ways should be used by world traders as map for the future.

In addition to primary novelties such as cyber facilitation of trade and the introduction of new products and services, Azevêdo also said that the accelerative nature of digital trends were presenting the international business community with manifold challenges.

“Ultimately, the test of our success in responding to this revolution will be the extent to which we use it as a force for greater inclusion.”

Underscoring the unstoppable upward trajectory of digital trading, Azevêdo looked back to 2017 data for hard-hitting context.

Figures from that years showed, he said, that e-commerce had grown 13%, grossing $29 trillion.

“One quarter of the world’s population purchased goods and services online in 2017 and the share of those buying from abroad rose 15% in 2015 to 21%,” he added.


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