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The WTO Reinforces its Interest in Ecommerce

The WTO Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said at a workshop held at the WTO in June that the international community have a collective responsibility to help members harness the full potential of the digital economy for economic growth, job creation and trade diversification. She noted the dramatic growth in services delivered across borders via digital networks. The WTO estimates that global exports of digitally delivered services grew by 8.1% per year between 2005 and 2022, much higher than the 5.6% growth registered for goods exports. In 2022, the value of exports of digital services reached US$ 3.82tn – representing 12% of total goods and services trade, up from 8% a decade earlier, according to the WTO.

Other data on Africa support the emphasis on the digital economy. Africa’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is $3.1tn, with digital contributing approximately US$200bn. Africa’s GDP is forecast it to be worth US$712 bn by 2050. Opinion formers believe the continent has enormous potential to become the heart of the digital economy in the future years – with agritech, manufacturing, fintech, logistics, ecommerce, and automation through the use of artificial intelligence across all economic activities fuelling that rise.



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Alastair Tempest

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