In recent years, a growing number of governments have adopted policies aimed at supporting the transition towards a digital economy. The World Trade Report 2020 looks at these policy trends and at how trade and the WTO fit with them.
Trade and trade policies have historically been important engines for innovation. In particular, the multilateral trading system has contributed significantly to the global diffusion of innovation and technology by fostering predictable global market conditions and by underpinning the development of global value chains. As data become an essential input in the digital economy, firms rely more on intangible assets than on physical ones, and digital firms are able to reach global markets faster without the amount of physical investment previously necessary in other sectors. Success in the digital economy will depend on openness, access to information and communication technology (ICT) goods and services, collaboration on research projects, and the diffusion of knowledge and new technology.
ORBIS is powered by ESPAS, the European Strategy and Policy Analysis System, a unique inter-institutional project aimed at strengthening the EU's efforts in the crucial area of forward planning. ESPAS brings together the European Commission, the European Parliament, the Secretariat General of the Council of the European Union and the European External Action Service to strengthen the Union's collective administrative capacity to identify and analyse the key trends and challenges, and the resulting policy choices, which are likely to confront Europe and the wider world in the decades ahead.