WTO sees tech adding one third to annual trade by 2030

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Oct 03, 2018, 02.13 PM(IST)

File photo: Roberto Azevedo, Director General of the World Trade Organization (WTO). Photograph:( Reuters )

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Blockchain, artificial intelligence, the internet of things, 3D printing and other breakthroughs would fundamentally change trade, WTO Director-General Roberto Azevedo said as he launched the report.

Technology and innovation will increase global trade by 1.8-2.0 percentage points annually until 2030, the head of the World Trade Organization wrote in a report published on Wednesday, reported news agency Reuters.

WTO Director-General Roberto Azevedo launched the report and said blockchain, artificial intelligence, the internet of things, 3D printing and other breakthroughs would fundamentally change trade, 

"This is structural, this is here to stay ... It is a revolution," Reuters reported him as saying in a conference at the WTO's headquarters in Geneva.

"Notwithstanding the current trade tensions, we predict that trade could grow yearly by 1.8 to 2.0 percentage points more until 2030 as a result of the falling trade costs, amounting to a cumulated growth of 31 to 34 percentage points over 15 years," he wrote in his foreword to the WTO's World Trade Report 2018.

That compares with a fall in global trade costs of 15 per cent between 1996 and 2014, the report said.

Global e-commerce transactions were estimated to be worth $27.7 trillion in 2016, of which $23.9 trillion were business-to-business, the report said.