The Future of Trade is Digital - Global Trade Magazine
  April 22nd, 2016 | Written by

The Future of Trade is Digital

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  • As many as 350 million more businesses could begin to export through digital commerce.
  • China and India are on the rise, Europe is on the decline, and the U.S. is playing a pivotal role in trade.
  • A double challenge: attracting talent to trade and ensuring they are equipped with the right skills.

For the last 12 months the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) has endeavored to discover the future of global trade. Industry leaders, academics, and experts in five key cities were invited to discuss

how global trade will change in the next decade and how it will drive the global economy into the next

phase of growth.

Events in London, Hong Kong, Cape Town, Mumbai, and Dubai brought together over 150 informed individuals. The result is a report, “The Future of Trade,” representing a synthesis of the insights gained from these discussions and lays out the conclusions that emerged. It is a view of the probable changes over the next ten years and covers six key areas.

The adoption of digital strategy by global importers and exporters presents such a profound shift in the future of trade that as many as 350 million more businesses could begin to export goods and services through digital commerce. This shift would provide the first significant boost to worldwide trade since the great recession and usher in a digital revolution in trade.

The adoption of such strategy on a global scale would add as much as $29 trillion to the digital

economy over the next decade, the research shows.

Countries such as China and India are on the rise, while Europe is on the decline and the United States is playing a pivotal role. There is “uncertainty in some quarters about how new alliances may play out,” the report reveals.

There is growing concern over the lack of capital available from the world’s banks to support more trade The report looks at some of the options emerging for better funding for small and medium enterprises and how new initiatives may play an increasing role in the next decade, especially in emerging markets.

A double challenge exists of being able to attract the best talent to work in the world of trade and also to ensure that the next generation is equipped with the right mix of skills and abilities. “As the elite global nomads take to the fore,” the report notes, “it raises questions on how and where talent will align with the emerging trade infrastructure.”

The trade regimes of the future will favor regional and bilateral agreements over global WTO pacts, according to the report. There are opportunities afforded by proactive actions in specific locations to help make trade more effective and transparent.

The overall effectiveness of global trade and distribution is likely to be improved over the next decade, the report notes, from the adoption of increasingly open supply webs to enhancing the efficiency of

the last mile, the future of trade includes new exchange and distribution models.