Seminar: Long Run Trends in International Trade

The Impact of New Technologies

Eddy Bekkers, World Trade Organization, Geneva


We use the WTO Global Trade Model (GTM) to generate long-term projections on the potential impact of the development of digital technologies on trade. The GTM is a recursive dynamic CGE-model featuring imperfect competition, the integration of margin activities in private consumption, and baseline projections based on macroeconomic projections of the Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSP). We examine the potential impact of four expected trends in technology: robotization leading to a reallocation of tasks between labor and capital; servification of the production process; digitalization leading to falling trade costs; and e-commerce. The four trends are modelled in a core and convergence scenario with laggard countries displaying convergence in the latter. These trends are predicted to raise trade growth, increase the share of developing countries in global exports in the convergence scenario, raise the share of services in global trade, and have a limited impact on organization of global value chains