World Trade Symposium 2017:

Transforming trade: Driving financial inclusion through globalisation and digitisation.

The fundamentals of global trade are being challenged as never before. Trade blocks are under pressure, and growth is lagging. Financial market constraints remain in place. Consumers and producers in every continent are wondering if globalisation is really garnering prosperity and financial inclusion.

The World Trade Symposium 2017 proposed a highly interactive, action-oriented C-Level dialogue on the major themes that will shape the future direction of international trade.

The innovative deployment of digital information and technologies has the potential to revolutionise trade by enabling new services, funding models and entrants. The extent to which these astounding developments in new technology can be applied to the common good is dependent upon the overriding trends in policy, investment and implementation – in other words, how the new model of globalisation develops.

Despite the ongoing challenges surrounding trade and finance, it is the ongoing belief of the World Trade Board that trade, international engagement and investment flows remain of critical importance to the global economy, driving inclusion and prosperity.

The World Trade Symposium will continue to investigate the issues and opportunities for global trade and explore the potential to transform trade with digital at its core – with a vision of improving people’s lives.

Themes for Symposium 2017

The 2017 agenda covered the following digital and innovative trade trends, with an eye to the regulatory, economic and technological elements in each:

  • Intelligent trade: How can information and insight facilitate the management and distribution of risk in the global economy?

    Trade is moving from a ‘linear’ model to a networked interaction between many connected parties. In order to remain relevant, banks and alternative financial services providers need access to comprehensive real-time information to mitigate risk and release more funds to more players in the value chain.

    Credit risk and operational risk need to be better understood and managed in order to plug the gaps. How can digital technologies and new business models help to overcome these challenges? How can agile analytics spawn intelligent trade, powering the management and distribution of risk, attracting new investment and boosting availability of alternative financing options

  • Sustainable trade: How can new technologies and innovative models of trade extend financial inclusion and prosperity?

    Trade facilitates economic growth and financial inclusion, but the benefits are not realised equally by all parties, and not always fully recognised. To address these failings, trade needs to be more inclusive and sustainable.

    Sustainable trade occurs when the commercial exchanges of goods and services generate social, economic and environmental benefits in accordance with the fundamental principles of sustainable development, including the creation of economic value and the reduction of poverty and inequality. What changes are needed in trade policy and practice to achieve these goals? How should we re-think the creation of value in the 21st century?

  • Integrated trade: How can the industrial internet and smart supply chains enable sustainable trade and the circular economy?

    The dawn of digitisation will not only deliver significant opportunities for value creation but also demand changes in regulation and policy making. The accelerated adoption of ‘intelligent assets’, linking together the millions of items we consume each year globally, opens the door not only to sustainability and fair trade but also the preservation of environmental resources.

    New business models can be designed at lower cost with an improved quality of service whilst using fewer resources. What are the most relevant technologies and the biggest opportunities? How can the disruptive powers of new technologies be harnessed in order to support the transformation of trade and to fulfil the economic opportunity of a circular economy?

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