By Liao Bowen (Center for Sino-Indonesia People-to-people Exchange Studies, BFSU)
From the invention of steamships, railways and telegraphs during the first Industrial Revolution in the early 19th century, to the emergence of container transport in the 1950s and the recent rise of the Internet, technological innovation has significantly reduced trade costs and changed the way human communicate, consume, produce and trade.
On November 5, at the first China International Import Expo, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce and the World Trade Organization Secretariat jointly released the Chinese version of the 2018 World Trade Report under the theme “How Digital Technology Changes Global Business”. The Report believes that digital technology will bring opportunities and challenges to the world economy and trade, and change the cross-border transaction model. Countries need to build soft and hard infrastructure, attach importance to human capital investment, trade policy measures, domestic regulatory framework, and intellectual property protection.
Wang Shouwen, deputy minister of commerce and deputy representative of international trade negotiations, said that the 2018 World Trade Report focused on the impact of digital technology on global trade under the theme of digital technology. Digital technology is the new driving force for economic growth, and innovation is the first driving force for China’s economic development. The 2018 World Trade Report helps us learn about the growing experience in other parts of the world. In the past few decades, the rule-based multilateral trading system has performed well and has made important contributions to the promotion of global trade and has been the driving force for world economic growth. In the context of a new round of technological revolution, unilateralism and protectionism, a more perfect and stronger multilateral trading system will benefit all countries.