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Jonathan T. Fried, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Canada to the World Trade Organization, Geneva


The digital economy is greatly contributing to global economic growth. Furthermore, the utilization of the latest technology such as the Internet of Things and Big Data, will permeate countless aspects of the world economy and people's lives. The changes brought by the digital economy will also provide various opportunities to the world and have the potential to promote further socio-economic development, from developed to developing countries, from large to small-medium enterprises, and from firms to individuals.

In this session, experts will explore what the role of the WTO can/should be, and how the WTO can/should carry out that role, to unleash the potential of the digital economy.
This will include examination of the following key questions.
- How the business environment is changing and will change through using ICT. 
- How the free flow of information benefits business/trade in the global economy.
- How regulations on digital trade, including data localization measures, work and how they affect business/trade in the global economy.
- What does the private sector expect of the WTO?


  • Cody Ankeny, Manager of Global Policy, Information Technology Industry Council
  • Javier López González, Trade Policy Analyst, Trade and Agricultural Directorate (TAD), OECD
  • Makoto Yokozawa, Vice chairperson of the Internet Economy WG, Keidanren/the Japan Business Federation
  • Torbjörn Fredriksson, Officer in Charge, Science, Technology and ICT Branch, UNCTAD