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2023 BIICL Annual WTO Conference
Trade and Technology: Challenges and Opportunities (Hybrid)

Date: 6 October 2023

Time: 09.30 - 16.30 (UK time)

Venue: British Institute of International and Comparative Law, Charles Clore House, 17 Russell Square, London and Online

Sponsored by:

Media Partner:

Deputy Director General Angela Ellard speaking at the conference

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Event Details

The rapid development of technology (including digital technology) in recent times has the potential to transform international trade profoundly. Among the expected impacts is the reduction of trade costs, an increased share of services in the composition of trade, changing patterns of food production and comparative advantage, and the complexity and length of global value chains for sustainable trade.

Tech transformations of trade present both opportunities and challenges. The 2023 BIICL Annual WTO Conference brings together experts from international organisations, the tech industry sector, practitioners and academics, at a one-day conference, to discuss these issues in three thematic panels.

Conference convened by Dr Julinda Beqiraj, Maurice Wohl Senior Fellow in European Law with the kind support of Prof Dr Gabrielle Marceau, Senior Honorary Fellow, BIICL and Iris Anastasiadou, Researcher in Public International Law and Migration.

Join in the conversation @BIICL #WTO


09:00 - 9:30   Registration with coffee & tea

09.30 - 09.45 Welcome and introduction 

Julinda Beqiraj, Maurice Wohl Senior Fellow in European Law, BIICL

09:45 - 10.30  Keynote Address: 

Angela Paolini Ellard, Deputy Director General, WTO

10.30 - 12.30 Panel 1 Digital Transformation of Trade in Goods and Services

This overview panel will address the relationship between digital technology and classic WTO topics (e.g., market access, non-discrimination, the distinction between goods and services - intangible goods or services?) in the light of issues such as paperless trade, e-commerce, trade in services etc.

Chair: Ross Denton, Senior Counsel, Van Bael & Bellis

  • Antonia Carzaniga, World Trade Organization 
  • Devin McDaniels, Economic Affairs Officer (TBT), WTO
  • Wei Guo Tang, Permanent Mission of Singapore, WTO
  • Javier Lopez Gonzalez, OECD & Eddy Bekkers, WTO
  • Aba Schubert, CEO -
  • Tianmi Stilphen, International Chamber of Commerce

12.30 - 13.30 Lunch

13.30 - 14.45 Panel 2 Digital Technologies, Trade in Agriculture and Food Products

This panel will address specific challenges and opportunities posed by technological developments for trade in agriculture and the availability of food products for both developed and developing countries.

Chair: Ruth Alexander, The Food Chain, BBC World Service

  • Doaa Abdel Motaal, World Trade Organization
  • Mariela de Amstalden, Senior lecturer in law and technology, University of Exeter
  • Phil Webster, Principal at Global Technology and Innovation Management Practice, Arthur D. Little
  • Prof. Fiona Smith, Leeds University & Prof. Lisa Toohey, Newcastle University, Australia
  • Trisha Toop, Chief Technical Officer, Agri EPI Centre, UK

 14.45 - 15.00 Coffee

15.00 - 16.15 Panel 3  Digital Technology, Trade and the Triple Planetary Crisis

The panel will address specific challenges and opportunities offered by data and digital technologies to enhance environmentally sustainable trade. Digital environmental cooperation bears fundamental importance in combating climate change, pollution and biodiversity loss, while advancing global sustainability.

Chair: Daniel Ramos, World Trade Organization

  • Amb. Sofia Boza, Permanent Representative of Chile at the WTO and WIPO
  • Emmanuelle Ganne, World Trade Organization
  • Marc Vanheukelen, (former) Ambassador, Permanent Representative of the European Union to the World Trade Organization
  • Louis Roy, CEO & President OPTEL Group
  • Jonny Peters, Senior Policy Advisor, E3 London

16.15-16.30 Closing Remarks

Prof. Dr. Gabrielle Marceau, WTO Secretariat and BIICL Senior Honorary Fellow

16.30 - 18.00 Drinks Reception

Pricing and Registration 

This conference will be offered in a hybrid format.

Book to participate online
Book to participate in person 

CPD Information

This event offers the equivalent of 7 CPD hours.


If you have any queries, please contact the Events team

Event Recording

Please note that our events may be photographed or recorded. These materials will be used for internal and external promotional purposes only by the British Institute of International and Comparative Law. If you object to appearing in recordings or photographs, please contact the Events team to let us know ahead of the event.

Event Cancellation Policy

When you register for an event you will be asked to confirm that you have read and understood our cancellation policy.

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