Digital Trade Research

About our digital trade research

At the Hinrich Foundation we consider open digital trade to be a growth opportunity for countries as well as an enabler of major productivity improvements for sectors beyond the digital sector. However, we identified that policymakers, businesses and other stakeholders needed more information to have a robust discussion about ways to harness the benefits and manage potential risks related to digital trade.

Together with local business community groups, we commissioned AlphaBeta to size the value of the digital trade opportunity (both for exports and the domestic economy) and to assess risks for eight economies in the Asia-Pacific – Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines and Vietnam.

Our objectives for this research project included:

  • Sizing the value of the digital trade opportunity for exports and the domestic economy
  • Measuring the opportunity cost of having a closed digital policy
  • Identifying the risks of an open digital policy and ways to address them
  • Recommending key policy actions for helping economies harness the benefits and manage potential risks

View our latest digital trade report

The digital economy and the so-called Fourth Industrial Revolution hold enormous promise for countries’ future prosperity. As economies rely increasingly on digital goods and services, regulatory frameworks and trade policies must be updated to meet the needs of the digital economy.

Though trade was once dominated by tangible goods, growth in global goods trade has flattened as global data flows have surged, with the amount of cross-border bandwidth having grown 45 times since 2005. This is projected to increase by an additional nine times over the next five years as flows of information, searches, communication, video, transactions, and intra-company traffic continue to rise. Digital trade is also supporting large productivity improvements in domestic sectors, underpinning production and quality improvements, and international competitiveness.

Traditional economic measures fail to adequately measure the value of digital trade to exports and domestic economies. This creates risk that the value of digital trade is not fully appreciated and taken into account when formulating policy.

This report summarizes the findings of analyses on eight Asia Pacific countries that aim to quantify the economic value of digital goods and services exports and the value of digital trade in enabling productivity improvements in the domestic economy.

This report was prepared by the Hinrich Foundation with analytical support from AlphaBeta.

Digital Trade Research 1

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In the news

  • Firm up policy on data flow abroad

    11 August, 2019
    The Economic Times
    Hinrich Foundation's India Digital Trade report highlights need for smart policy decisions to take advantage of opportunities in digital trade.

  • Digital trade set to grow 14 times by 2030: Study

    26 July, 2019
    Business Standard
    Coverage about findings from the India Digital Trade report and how restricting cross-border data flow will hurt digital trade.

  • Huge digital trade opportunity for India by 2030

    26 July, 2019
    Trade Promotion Council of India
    Hinrich Foundation's India digital trade report, launched event in New Delhi on July 25, 2019, was featured in the government-affiliated website.

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