World Trade Report(WTR)

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News: World Trade Organization(WTO) has released the report titled ‘World Trade Report 2020: Government Policies to Promote Innovation in the Digital Age’.

Facts:

  • World Trade Report: It is an annual report published since 2003 by the World Trade Organization to deepen understanding about trends in trade, trade policy issues, and the multilateral trading system (MTS).
  • What is the 2020 Report about? The 2020 World Trade Report looks at the role of innovation and technology policies in an increasingly digitized world economy and explains the role of the WTO in this changing context.

Key Takeaways:

  • Uptake of Digital Innovation: The report observes that the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the uptake of digital innovation and e-commerce and led countries to strengthen policies aimed at boosting growth through innovation and technological upgrading.
  • Transition to Digital Economy: The report warns the transition towards digital economy can have positive spillovers and negative spillovers.
    • Positive spillovers: generating growth, creating new markets and encouraging technology diffusion.
    • Negative spillovers: distorting trade, diverting investment or promoting unfair competition with the winner-takes-all characteristics of certain digital industries.
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