The digital economy and the digitization of trade has changed the way that we measure and understand trade flows. But a lack of data and a lack of harmonization in standards and regulations have fragmented analysis. This workshop seeks to produce a framework for analysis and to push the frontier of knowledge forward in this area.

This workshop is being organized in conjunction with UNESCAP and UNCTAD. Discussions will also inform UNCTAD’s work on electronic commerce and development, including the Information Economy Report 2017 and the new global eTrade for All initiative, of which UNESCAP is also a founding partner.


The digital economy is disrupting trade. Both how it happens and our understanding of its impacts. This new trade space has tremendous implications for commercial exchange. Countries are less constrained than ever before by traditional factor endowments and technological capacity. But what does digitization mean for economic development? Specifically, how does digitization of products and processes change our existing understanding of the links between trade and development?

The need for substantive research on this topic is twofold. First, the digital space is expected to have a particularly positive impact on traditionally under-represented trading populations like women and SMEs and geographically challenged countries. Second, global changes in this sector are being driven by Asia, and thus a better understanding of its potential is critical for properly targeted development policy in the region.


To understand how trade is changing with advances in digitization.


Scholars and experts from academia and industry.


All papers prepared for the conference will be considered for publication in the ADBI Working Paper Series. In addition, there will be a publication of selected papers.

How to register

By invitation only.



Time of event

09:00 - 18:00

Event Contact