Trade system and the digital economy—2017 inquiry

Technological innovation is increasingly changing both what is traded and how things are traded.

Technology is changing how goods and services are traded. Digitising the processes and documentation than underpin how international trade is conducted will make trade more efficient and lower costs. It will
lower barriers to entry for exporters and importers. E-commerce is now a well-established channel.

Services are becoming digitised, and 3D printing, Industry 4.0 and other emerging technologies will see the same thing happen to goods.

As goods and services are digitised, it is essential that governments keep up. They must understand new trading methods and the value traded through those methods.

Technology is also enabling new products and services. Business models that were until recently impossible are now mainstream. But policies and regulations have failed to adapt. International trading rules remain geared towards traditional goods exports, with no effective regime to govern digital trade.

Regulators are struggling to find the right balance in response to digital trade: in some instances, they are stifling innovation and competition, in others they are failing to protect consumers.

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Ed Serrano
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Export Finance Australia Oct 2020