The societal, political, commercial and environmental requirements of future trade demand transformative technology solutions. Novel technologies are being deployed for supply chain management, logistics infrastructure integration and information financial flows to cope with the scale, complexity and diversity of emerging trade relationships. Active partnership between exporters and importers, logistics operators, technology innovators and policy-makers is accelerating a global shift to new models.
The TradeTech Global initiative, a joint venture between the World Economic Forum and the Government of the United Arab Emirates, has issued a report, TradeTech: Catalysing Innovation, outlining steps to seed, cultivate and harvest technology-enabled upgrades to global trade. It notes the rapid growth of artificial intelligence, ubiquitous sensing and distributed ledgers for managing complex physical, digital and financial flows.
“Leveraging technology for trade has the potential to unlock trillions of dollars in growth,” said Børge Brende, President, World Economic Forum. “Fostering trust among stakeholders will drastically speed-up how quickly we can benefit.”
The inaugural TradeTech Forum will be hosted by the UAE in parallel with the World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference in Abu Dhabi in February 2024.
“The world’s need for sustainable growth and development demands we be ambitious in using technology to overcome the limits of today’s trade,” said His Excellency Dr Thani Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade of the United Arab Emirates and Chair of the upcoming WTO Ministerial. “By intelligently deploying technology to make international trade simpler, cheaper and more transparent, we can raise governments’ ambitions for cutting poverty, boosting growth, and improving sustainability.”
The reportputs forth a three-stage process to roll out current and future technology in both advanced and developing economies. This includes aligning incentives, making use of incubators and regulatory sandboxes, to help technologies to scale in the challenging standards environment of international trade.