The pandemic has reinforced the extent to which digital technologies, data, and services are critical to global commerce, with technology firms and those operating across digital sectors sitting at the heart of both the upside of demand, and the downside of supply issues and geopolitics.
A recent shortage in semiconductors as result of a confluence of a demand spike and a rise in diplomatic tensions, has led to the idling of car plants around the world, while the production of consumer electronics has slowed or stalled. As the EU pushes for increased autonomy, and while the rollout of digital infrastructures such as 5G in Europe is the subject of much debate, seeking consensus on what a post-Covid global trading landscape should look like is essential in ensuring the digital transition is as equitable as possible.
This session will analyse how digital and data in global trade is evolving, what the prospects are for common standards and cooperation on issues such as cyber security, international data flows and emerging technologies such as AI, and whether the range of supply chain, infrastructure security concerns and loss of trust in the multilateral system therefore necessitates a retreat to more regional self-reliance and resilience. By exploring the provisions included in the Communication “2030 Digital Compass: the European Way for the Digital Decade” that was released in March, the session will discuss the role that fair and sustainable trade rules can play in ensuring the EU economy competitiveness in a global digital market.