WTO and e-commerce: Trade in 2030

Between 2 and 4 of October, Alonso & Asociados participated on the WTO Public Forum that took place in Geneva. The forum is an annual event that offers to the participants the chance to debate the recent evolution of world trade and to propose better ways to improve the multilateral system of trade. The event gathered more than 1,500 participants coming from several areas: WTO members, companies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), academic institutions, law firms and international organizations.

Under the main subject “Trade in 2030”, the forum addressed in 112 sessions, issues related to sustainable development, e-commerce, and a more inclusive trade system. In addition, this year, particular attention was given to food safety and on the role of agriculture to reach the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). Countries such as Brazil, they presented their sustainable production model, producing more each time, but using fewer natural resources, thanks to the use of technology.

The Forum opened the debate with a high-level session entitled “E-commerce 2030: enabling an inclusive future for e-commerce”. Therein, WTO Director General Roberto Azevêdo, invited the international community to grant the ongoing digital revolution to be totally inclusive and not to leave anyone behind. He highlighted that the e-commerce offers a springboard to overcome some of the traditional obstacles to trade, but pointed out that, without the right approach, major actors could easily control the market in expense of small companies. For his part, Jack Ma, president of Alibaba Group, noted that, taking into account that innovation develops itself far faster, “further legislation shall not be boosted by private sectors and all the stakeholder”.

Finally, the forum provided an opportunity to present the WTO annual report, dedicated this year to digital technologies. On its pages it notes that, whenever possible, these technologies will promote the growth of trade significantly -specially the one from developing economies- and, in particular, the activity pf the micro, small and medium enterprises from these countries (MiSMEs). You can consult the report here.

Our managing partner, Emiliano Alonso, devotes a case study related to WTO in his book El lobby en la Unión Europea. Manual del buen uso de Bruselas (Madrid 2016). You can find the last edition of the book (2016) here and, if you have questions with that regard, do not hesitate to contact us at info@alonsoasocidos.com or at +30(0)2 230 70 42.

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