Trade 2030: The Future of World Trade

A group of eminent panelists will bring their experience on how digital technologies are changing international trade and how international trade cooperation can help governments reap the benefits and address the challenges of digital trade.


  • Roberto Azevêdo, Director-General, World Trade Organization
  • Abdoullah Cisse, Professeur-Avocat, Carapaces Stratégies & Conformités
  • Caroline Freund, Director, Macroeconomics, Trade, and Investment Climate, World Bank
  • Susan Lund, Partner, McKinsey Global Institute

Author: Sheng Lu

Professor @ University of Delaware

15 thoughts on “Trade 2030: The Future of World Trade”

  1. This video gave me some really good insight into the world of international trade and how it is changing, and what the outcomes from this change could be. I learned a good amount, not only about things I didn’t know before, but it also deepened my understanding of things I already knew about. For one, I’m familiar with 3D printing, but the way they went about explaining the impact of 3D printing really intrigued me. They said that with 3D printing, an item could go from being labeled a “3D printed product” to a “3D traded product.” I thought this was really eye-opening, in that it emphasizes the impact of allowing consumers to essentially produce their own products. With 3D printing, you are eliminating the middle man manufacturer, and basically giving the code to produce a product to the consumer to “make” themselves. So, this changes how trading is perceived. Additionally, I also learned about the Internet of Things and blockchain. The Internet of Things enables significant efficiencies for traders and helps companies to track products along the supply chain, which helps them to optimize route planning. I think this is really great because it allows companies to adapt their route planning to be as efficient as possible. Blockchain is a tool that creates trust and essentially helps smaller companies build relationships with larger companies. I think blockchain is really beneficial for these smaller companies that aren’t very known to the world. It gives larger companies piece of mind that these smaller companies they are dealing with are not illegitimate, as well as help smaller companies to expand their contacts and learn from larger companies.

  2. I agree with several points mentioned in this panel. Firstly, the talk about increasing technology and how it can change the way consumers shop and how companies buy- is vital. Technology has been a huge aspect of growth. I also agreed with Susan when she said how the trading of goods, in regards to automation and that it will evolve trade tremendously. One thing I found most interesting about this panel was when Adboullah spoke. I really liked how he gave an African perspective- it really helped to see this issue through a new lens. The opportunities he stated such as transparency, profess and harmony with nature are all key opportunities that everyone should keep in mind.

  3. Increasing technology and how it changes the way people shop is absolutely essential. Technology has helped several companies become more successful and efficient and is a huge part of growth in a business. This video has helped me learn so much more about the different technologies that are being used such as 3D printing, the internet of things, blockchain, and artificial intelligence. I also really liked how an African perspective was given because there are countries that are still not as tech savvy as other companies and this can become a problem for them.

  4. This discussion really opened my eyes to many issues that were important t0 the fashion industry around the world, not just in the United States. I agree that technology has a huge impact on both the textile and apparel industries today with the implementations of new technologies such as 3D printing. These technologies are impacting both industries by decreasing the number of jobs that the industry once provided. Many companies will have to make changes to their companies to cater to the new technologies that will continue to emerge. I also found it interesting that many of the least developed countries are not increasing their growth but are somewhat stuck in a stage with a lack of development. The apparel sector relies heavily on least developed countries for apparel manufacturing, but many of these countries are struggling.

  5. This video really helped me understand how many issues there are in the fashion industry worldwide. I found the technologies that are interfering to be interesting and found one in particular called blockchains. Block chains has sparked a major debate for trade because it could help these smaller businesses. Block chain is a temper proof, tool to protect trust and help transactions, which could help smaller business establish trust. Sometimes it is harder for these small companies to be consider as a legit company. Block chain would automate transactions and deliver significant cost cuts. I think Blockchain would be an excellent technology for these smaller companies and should be considered much more.

    1. I agree with this! I enjoyed hearing about the block chain technology. I like how they referred to this as structural changes, it is not something because the economy is slowing down it is something that is here to stay. I liked the idea of blockchain helping smaller companies to build trust with others because their legitimacy is often questioned. It can automate transactions and help with cost reduction and revenue gains. What did you think about 3D printing transforming the way that we buy? I have heard a lot of talk about 3D printing making way into businesses and boosting trade and growth within the next years to come. The reduction and trade cost of these technologies would be beneficial to smaller businesses and firms. developing countries could grow with these technologies and change the structure of trade to digital technologies and enable new services to emerge. service trade could grow from 21% to 25% with blockchain bring arise to new services such as retail distribution. How do you think things will end up with the blurred lines between trading goods and trading services?

      1. I believe that the lines between trading goods and services are going to become very “blurred”, as you put it, due to the increase in technology and trading with 3-D printing. While these new innovations are exciting and helpful, it is also important to distinguish the difference between trading goods and trading services overseas.

  6. I agreed with a large portion of the points that were made in this panel. I thought the portion about increasing technology and the effect it has on consumers’ shopping habits was very interesting and important to know about. I really enjoyed hearing from the perspective of Adboullah because it helped me to see things through the eyes of someone from a different country.

    1. I enjoyed hearing from the perspective of someone in another country as well. It is important to recognize how the increase in technology will impact less developed countries at the same time.

  7. After viewing this video I was able to see myself agree with a lot of the points that were made. It is crucial that we increase technology in my opinion technology is the largest influence amongst consumers for the near future. This doesn’t just doesn’t mean the way they shop which we have seen change over the last 20 years but also about how they are marketed to and educated about what they are buying. Getting the perspective from someone that wasn’t North American or European on the panel also really helped me build my understanding that in order for Africa to advance in the world of fashion they are going to need to become more technologically advanced but it was an interesting standpoint to hear from.

  8. After watching this video, I personally feel I have a better understanding of all the issues that go on in the fashion industry nationwide. One point that stood out to me most was about block chains. I never knew what they were before watching this video and it is something I found a lot of interest in learning about. It said that block chains were temper proof tools that assisted in protecting transactions which leads to gaining trust. Implementing these block chains would help cut costs drastically, which is always a positive thing. Block chains would be able to technologically help both large and small companies become more successful within their future.

    1. I agree that blockchains are beneficial for small companies as they can provide support for small companies to start trading by helping them build trust around the world. One of the biggest problems that small companies have is that they are unknown. Being part of a blockchain legitimizes small businesses and promotes business internationally and with larger brands. Blockchains enhance transparency in the supply chains, accelerates digitization of trade operations, automate contractual transactions, and could provide cost reductions/ revenue gains. It is estimated by 2030, that the gains from blockchains could deliver up to 3 trillion dollars worldwide.

  9. This video was really interesting to watch because technology is increasing at an incredibly fast pace and it is important that we keep up with the changing world. This increase in technology will additionally change trade and how we go about doing it. Many people have been discussing the idea of 3-D printing, but I have yet to see fashion products on the market that are 3-D printed. It was really cool to hear that trade may begin to occur using 3-D printing so that one company can specialize in making a code for a particular product, and then “export” the code to another country. It is a really different and innovative way to view global trading in an increasingly technological world!

  10. I found the video very interesting in its analysis of how technology is changing trade. I really enjoyed hearing Freund’s perspective on how technology has changed continues to change the world of trade. I enjoyed hearing how she started out by describing how she has seen so much change in trade due to technology, and how it continues to change after with the introduction of technologies such as 3D printing. In the future, I am interested in seeing how much more of world will be changed by technology, and how the fashion and textile industry will be changed. Additionally, I am interested in how 3D printing could change the trade industry, and if one day textile or apparel products could be traded this way.

  11. It is interesting on how a growing percentage of a products value is from the software and technology aspects of the products design. For example Susan Lund of McKinsey Global Institute provided an example of how 10% of a cars value is from the software whereas 20 years ago there was no added value for the software. Another panelist gave an example of how with 3D technology and 3D printing that in the future people may be printing their goods and rather than buying a finished product, they will instead buy the code for printing a product. Technology is having a bigger and bigger role in production and finished goods.

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