Digital in Practice Programme

The road to Riyadh: Digital trade for a global recovery

22 Sep 2020
8:30 - 10:00 CET

As countries around the world count the costs of the Covid-19 pandemic and look towards recovery, the importance of digital trade has never been clearer to see.

Economic and social activity has been enhanced through teleworking, virtual learning, and other digital solutions. eCommerce and cloud computing have enabled companies to continue to operate globally despite border closures. But will we be able to translate these lessons into meaningful policy innovations, and how?

The global trade agenda can offer solutions, and yet has itself faced massive impediments. The WTO Ministerial Conference in Kazakhstan has been postponed for a year or more, as has the annual Public Forum. Across the world, progress on multilateral and bilateral talks has slowed – while digital connectivity works in the business world it is slightly less effective at the negotiating table, particularly when many countries are involved.

With all of this in mind, this year’s G20 faces mounting pressure to pick up the pace on moving forward solutions that can spur global recovery. Political momentum is crucial to advance progress on eCommerce disciplines at the WTO, as well as expansion of the Information Technology Agreement – both essential tools to ensuring that digital trade can bolster the recovery, and render international commerce more crisis-proof.

But more than ever, these plurilateral solutions will depend on a broad-based consensus on how to rebuild the world economy on the basis of open and fair trade.

The following experts will join us for this discussion:

    • Anna-Michelle Asimakopoulou, MEP, Vice Chair, INTA Committee
    • H.E. Chris Cooter, Ambassador of Canada to the EU
    • Akihiro Okochi, Minister in the Economic section, Japan Mission to the EU
    • Christophe Kiener, Head of Unit, Services & Digital Trade, DG Trade, European Commission
    • Juliana Nam, Counsellor, Mission of Australia to the EU
    • Diane Mievis, Chair Digital Trade Policy Group, DIGITALEUROPE, and Senior Trade Manager, Samsung Electronics

    Moderated by Cecilia Bonefeld-Dahl, Director General, DIGITALEUROPE

The debate will be held under the Chatham House rule.


We hope that you will be able to contribute your thoughts and experience to this highly interactive, truly informal debate.

Click here for more information on our Digital in Practice Programme (DiPP)
For more information or if you already have a question in mind to any of the speakers, please contact:
Regina Zawisza
Member Relations Manager
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