Promoting Connectivity — Exploring the Services Dimension Aid for Trade Workshop — 17 October 2016

Services and connectivity — Services and the digital divide

> Informal report by the WTO Secretariat

Services and connectivity

Advances in information and communication technology, combined with rapid growth in technology and the global expansion of the internet are transforming the tradeability of services. Services can be an input for trade in goods (and other services), but also a “final export” for direct consumption. Various physical and regulatory factors can limit developing countries’ abilities to connect to global markets. This session explored the role of services in enabling connectivity.

  • “The contribution of trade in services and trade policy to promoting connectivity” — Martin Roy, Counsellor, Trade in Services Division, World Trade Organization
  • “Connectivity, trade costs and the role of services” — Massimo Geloso Grosso, Senior Trade Policy Analyst, Trade in Services Division, Trade and Agriculture Directorate, Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development
  • “The untapped potential of services in Africa” — Marcus Bartley Johns, Senior Trade Specialist, Trade and Competitiveness Global Practice, World Bank Group, Geneva Office



Services and the digital divide

Aid for Trade is helping address these supply-side and trade-related infrastructure constraints across different service sectors. This session discussed the digital divide and profiled actions to bring companies and people online. Particular emphasis was given to how e-commerce and digital trade are transforming the possibilities for connecting, including in a sector (tourism) of particular export interest for least-developed countries. Global, regional and national perspectives were presented.

  • “Global perspectives on bridging the digital divide” — Dr. Cosmas Zavazava, Chief of Department, Projects and Knowledge Management,
    and Dr. Kemal Huseinovic, Chief of Department, Infrastructure, ICT Applications and Enabling Environment
  • “National perspectives on bridging the digital divide — the case of Pakistan” — H.E. Dr. Syed Tauqir Shah, Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the WTO, Pakistan
  • “Sectoral perspectives on bridging the digital divide — the case of Tourism” — Zoritsa Urosevic, Representative of the UN World Tourism Organization to the WTO