Data 2020: Trade, productivity and international innovation

Fri Feb 21, 2020
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Data flows in international trade support considerable economic activity across the world, but increasing trust in them could boost innovation and growth even further

Data 2020: Trade, productivity and international innovation

Trade, productivity and international innovation is one of the key areas we’ve identified in our Data 2020 landscape review to help organisations understand hot topics in the world of data in 2020 – from digital competition to data rights

Data flows in international trade support considerable economic activity across the world, but increasing trust in them could boost innovation and growth even further. To take part in complex data sharing for trade in services and the development of frontier technology, countries will be competing on the quality of their national data infrastructure – the data that they have access to, how they share it, and their ability to enforce privacy regulations.

Access to data and the sharing of it across borders has become central to trade and economic competitiveness discussions across the world. Chile, New Zealand and Singapore recently signed the Digital Economy Partnership Agreement, which puts data flows at the heart of their trade relationships. The European Union is encouraging international adoption of GDPR, and Japan has started the Osaka Track at the G20 for multilateral discussion of data standards in the digital economy.

The effects of restricting data flows has become a leading area of research. The European Centre for International Political Economy has been pioneering in the field, discussing how constraints on data and other aspects of digital exchange can slow down innovation and growth.

Restricting data flows – such as through data localisation that requires data to be kept within national borders – is often a question of a lack of trust in trading partners, and debates on how to create institutions that increase trust are picking up momentum.

There are examples of international collaboration to learn from as data policy for trade and competitiveness develops. The Financial Conduct Authority has pioneered the use of regulatory ‘sandboxes’, and ‘fintech bridges’, to help regulators learn from each other and make it easier for small and young firms to export their services.

  • Designing national data infrastructure to support international trade competitiveness
  • Building in data flows and sharing to digital trade deals
  • Understanding the impacts of data localisation
  • Creating greater international regulatory cooperation
  • Avoiding data extraction and exploitation in countries with low data and institutional capacity

This is not an exhaustive list of resources. If you provide tools or resources in this topic, please let us know by emailing [email protected]

  • Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Digital Trade and Data Governance Hub
  • Open Data Institute
  • Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • The European Centre for International Political Economy
  • World Trade Institute

This is not an exhaustive list of all organisations working in this area. If your organisation is working on this topic and you’d like to be included in this list, please let us know via [email protected]

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