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 - DORAE.com
- 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
This event offers the equivalent of 7 CPD hours.
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