The social, political, commercial and environmental requirements of future trade demand transformative technological solutions. Novel technologies for supply chain management, logistics infrastructure integration and financial information flows are being deployed to address the scale, complexity and diversity of emerging trade relationships. Active partnership between exporters and importers, logistics operators, technology innovators and policymakers is accelerating a global shift towards new models.
It is noted that, the Global Tech Trade initiative, a joint venture between the World Economic Forum and the Government of the United Arab Emirates, has published a report titled “TradeTech: catalyst for innovation,” which outlines steps to sow, cultivate, and harvest technological improvements for global trade. The report highlights the rapid growth of artificial intelligence, ubiquitous sensing, and distributed ledgers to manage complex physical, digital, and financial flows.
“Leveraging technology for trade has the potential to unlock trillions of dollars in growth,” said Børge Brende, President of the World Economic Forum. “Building trust between stakeholders will dramatically accelerate how quickly we can benefit.”
In parallel with the World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference in Abu Dhabi in February 2024, the Inaugural TradeTech Forum will be hosted by the United Arab Emirates. His Excellency Dr. Thani Ahmed Al Zeyoudi emphasized that “the global need for sustainable growth and development requires us to be ambitious in using technology to overcome the limits of current trade.” By deploying technology smartly to make international trade simpler, cheaper and more transparent, governments can reduce poverty, drive growth and improve sustainability.
The report presents a three-stage process for implementing current and future technology in advanced and developing economies. This includes aligning incentives and making use of incubators and regulatory sandboxes to help technologies grow in the challenging standards environment of international trade.
As technological advancements continue to reshape global trade dynamics across various sectors such as supply chain management, logistics infrastructure integration, financial information flows among others; it is essential that all stakeholders come together with a unified vision to capitalize on these innovations for mutual benefits. The Global Tech Trade initiative’s efforts towards this end are commendable as they aim at fostering collaboration between different entities involved in international trade through leveraging novel technologies – ultimately leading towards inclusive economic growth globally.
Ostensibly it is clear that cooperation on technology is set to radically improve global trade by addressing both its current limitations as well as unlocking new opportunities for sustainable growth.