Cody Ankeny, Manager of Global Policy, Information Technology Industry Council (ITI)
Information and communications technology (ICT) is enabling a revolution in international trade. Digital technologies are now core to trade in goods, and trade increasingly occurs in the digital realm. Digital trade also serves as an enabler and equalizer for companies participating in the global economy. Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) can now access global services that increase their productivity and allow them to operate across borders. Cross-border data flows are the lifeblood of this inclusive digital trade, although recent actions by government have raised serious concerns. This working session explores ICT-enabled inclusion in the global trading system, with particular emphasis on how the free flow of data across borders is critical to SMEs participating in digital trade; the policy environment needed to sustain the free flow of data; and how existing WTO rules apply to data localization requirements and where new rules might be beneficial for promoting inclusive, digital trade.