The theme of the World Trade Organization's 2021 Public Forum (September 28 – October 1) is Trade Beyond Covid-19: Building Resilience. The forum will feature a working session by the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) entitled "How To Construct a Global Governance Architecture For Digital Trade."
There is an urgent need to strengthen the multilateral trading system and ensure that it adapts to new digital realities while being inclusive and representative of all regions. Current digital governance arrangements are dominated by certain jurisdictions and firms and which spill over into trade agreements that are ill-suited to deal with the complex nature of cross border data flows. These data flows create a range of policy issues for which supranational institutions, policies and regulations have not been designed. The session will bring together a diverse panel of experts working in research institutes, think tanks and government to delve into the complexities of digital trade and examine how new types of arrangements can help to facilitate digital trade, promote inclusiveness and ensure that the global trading system adapts to new digital realities.
The session will be moderated by CIGI Senior Fellow Susan Ariel Aaronson and includes CIGI Managing Director of Digital Economy Robert Fay as a panellist. Other panelists include Karishma Banga (research fellow, Institute of Development Studies, United Kingdom); Johannes Fritz (CEO, The St Gallen Endowment for Prosperity through Trade, Switzerland); and Lay Lin Tan (director, International Trade Cluster, Ministry of Trade and Industry, Singapore).