Digital Trade Policies – Charting a Way Towards More Transparency

The digital transformation of economic activities, including international trade, has accelerated during the Covid-19 crisis. Consequently, policies affecting trade in the digital economy have gained prominence in the WTO as well as regional trade agreements. The Joint Statement Initiative (JSI) on e-commerce that is currently under negotiations and will be discussed at the WTO Ministerial in November is a case in point.

Against this background, robust and comprehensive information on trade policy measures that affect the digital economy is critical. To engage on and strengthen the governance of digital trade, policy makers and other stakeholders require a solid empirical base.

With this in mind, this webinar explored the current state of play in terms of transparency on digital trade policy measures. It zoomed in on four databases on digital trade policy measures as provided by the Global Trade Alert, the OECD Digital Services Trade Restrictiveness Index and ECIPE’s Digital Trade Estimates project and the Global Data Governance Mapping Project at the Digital Trade and Data Governance Hub.

The webinar presented and compared each of these databases, discussed the need for further information by policy makers, businesses, civil society, and academics, and charted a way forward to increase transparency.


Johannes Fritz – CEO, St. Gallen Endowment for Prosperity Through Trade.
Janos Ferencz – Trade Policy Analyst, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
Erik van der Marel – Senior Economist, European Centre for International Political Economy (ECIPE).
Susan Ariel Aaronson – Research Professor of International Affairs and Director of the Digital Trade and Data Governance Hub, George Washington University.

Moderator: Ingo Borchert – Deputy Director, UK Trade Policy Observatory.