IGF 2021 - Day 4 - Launch / Award Event #62 Mapping and measuring digital trade restrictions

The following are the outputs of the captioning taken during an IGF virtual intervention. Although it is largely accurate, in some cases it may be incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.



>> WILLIAM DRAKE:  I see that people are joining.  Can everybody hear

  me okay?  Good.  Thanks.

    >> WILLIAM DRAKE:  The hour has reached 1500.  Which is our starting

  time.  Central European time.  We are in particular waiting for a

  couple of panelists I think.  Okay.  I think everybody is a panelist

  here now.  That's...that's a good start.

    >> Hello.

    >> Just one minute and we'll get everything sorted out here.

    >> WILLIAM DRAKE:  Okay.  Martine, just tell me whenever you would

  like me to begin.  Since you're there.

    A few PowerPoints from the other panelists that have to be loaded.


    Mapping and measuring digital trade integration.


    Room 6.

    >> WILLIAM DRAKE:  I was saying the IGF is starting to name -- we

  have the last session of the last day.  So thanks for coming. They

  saved the best for last, of course.

    (Video opening).

    >> WILLIAM DRAKE:  I've been involved in the IGF since before the

  beginning and that's the first time I've ever started the session with

  a commercial.  So interesting experience.

    It is now almost five minutes after.  Means we have 55 minutes left.

  Shall I begin, Martine?


    >> WILLIAM DRAKE:  Okay.  Hello everybody, the few of the bold people

  who have joined us.  I see ten people in the room.  And hopefully there

  will be more later.  We'll see how that goes.

    I am William Drake from Columbia University, formerly University of

  Zurich.  And here in Geneva, as you can see behind me.

    This is a hybrid one hour session.  Some of us are in Poland, as you

  see Martina; and others of us are in our pajamas, no names will be

  mentioned.  Thanks to Martina for organising.

    As indicated in the session description, this session engages with

  policy questions central to the governance of global digital trade and

  data flows over the Internet.  Hence issues that are central to

  Internet governance.  As digital trade has grown massively in recent

  years, governments around the world are working to put in place

  national approaches and parallel engaging international regime

  negotiations in a variety of bilateral, regional, plural lateral

  free-trade agreements, as well as in the free trade organization.

    And as always happens when new trade processes and issues arise, some

  governments and stakeholders have sought to shield their markets from

  international competition through a variety of restrictive measures,

  while others have deprived these things as being contrary to the spirit

  and letter of international trade agreements.

    Major barrier to reconciling divisions of view in this realm has

  always been the lack of comprehensive and updated analyses and

  indicators regarding such policies and practices that restrict trade.

  That can be meaningfully compared across jurisdictions to gather macro

  level view of the state of play, flows of digital products and services

  as the global digital economy, and time and et cetera.  And absent such

  analyses and indicators, governments and stakeholders may misconstrue

  their national capabilities and interests, trade negotiators may face

  great uncertainty as to how to bargain and problem solve, and

  collective governance efforts may be impeded.

    So if we look at the history of international cooperation, it's been

  well demonstrated that under conditions of complexity and uncertainty,

  new ideas and information have often proved to be causal and indeed

  essential to helping to clarify actors' thinking and interests and to

  map paths forward.

    In this connection the expertise, credibility, and independence of

  actors advancing new ideas and information have been key to the

  reception of their messages.  So we've seen this over the years in

  fields that intersect to the digital trade of today, whether it's trade

  and services, Internet governance, or data flows.  And today we see

  that a number of industry associations, international organizations,

  research institutes, think tanks, analysts, and governments and others

  have been assembling analyses and indicators on policies affecting the

  digital economy and analyzing their effects.

    However, to date, as I say, there's been inadequate coordination of

  structured comparison of the evidence between these efforts.  So this

  session seeks to advance that process of coordination, kind of building

  the epistemic community of people who are involved in the field of

  digital trade and our collective knowledge base in order to try to

  facilitate more effective international cooperation around digital

  trade issues.

    Today we're going to talk about four initiatives in particular:  The

  Digital Policy Alert from the University of Saint Gallen Endowment for

  Prosperity for Trade; the Regional Digital Trade Restrictiveness Index

  of the UN ESCAP; the Digital Trade Policy Project in Africa by the

  UNECA; and Digital Trade Integration Project by the European University

  Institute (?) School and London School of Economics and Vochomny (?)


    These initiatives all provide open access data which can prove to be

  valuable tools for researchers and policy makers, practitioners,

  et cetera, in shedding light on the regulations as a digital economy,

  and trying to identify gaps and possible good practices going forward.

    We have four speakers who will talk about the initiatives they're

  involved in, and I'll introduce them in the order in which they will be

  speaking.  And I apologize in advance for any mispronunciations.  We'll

  have Johannes Fritz, CEO of the St. Gallen Endowment for Prosperity

  Through Trade; Witada Anukoonwattaka, Senior Economic Affairs Officer

  in Trade Policy and Facilitation Section on Trade, Investment, and

  Innovation Division at the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia

  and Pacific, and coordinates the regional digital integration project

  at UN ESCAP.

    Geoffroy Guepie, Associate of Economic Affairs Officer at the United

  Nations Economic Commission for Africa, UN-ECA; and Martina Ferracane,

  the Max Weber Fellow at the European University Institute, she manages

  the Digital Trade Initiative along with professor Bernard Hoekman.

  Martina also will be serving as the online monitor today, replacing

  Anna Abronova (?), who unfortunately was unable to be with us.

    And we have as a Rapporteur, Allen P. Alex.  Each of the speakers

  will talk for a little under eight minutes each in order to leave room

  at the end for open discussion among all participants.  And so we're

  hoping that, despite having a small last day crowd, that we can have a

  vibrant and interesting discussion around the issues of how do we

  gather and share and compare knowledge and information, data about

  trade practices that impact the extent and character of trade

  integration around the world, and that impact the ability of

  governments and other stakeholders to reach agreements on the

  governance of digital trade.

    So I think this is an important topic, and I hope that we'll be able

  to hear a lot of different views expressed about it.

    That's the game plan.  So we'll go through the four presentations,

  and we'll have open discussion among all participants.  And when we do

  that of course we ask that everybody identify themselves clearly and

  stick to one or two minutes in their interventions so that everybody

  can speak..

    Okay.  So that's the setup.  And now we begin.  Johannes, you are

  first up.  Would you like to tell us about your initiative?

    >> JOHANNES FRITZ:  So hello, fellow participants and contributors.

  I come to you from the snowy Alps.  My name is Johannes; I represent

  the St. Gallen Endowment, which is a Swiss charitable nonprofit that

  seeks to promote transparency in international policy choice and

  democratize access to such data around the world.

    We are best known for our oldest initiative, which is the Global

  Trade Alert running for 12 years, and collected over 40,000 pieces of

  information based on official sources that people can dip into on a

  public database.  And earlier this year we launched a new initiative,

  which I'm an excited to speak to you about today, which is a Digital

  Policy Alert.

    And we formulated a Digital Policy Alert based on two worries -- two

  observations and one worry.  We observe that there's lots of activity

  in the digital space about regulating and policy making that affects

  the digital economy, and at the same time we observe that there is no

  public accessible inventory that is timely created and tracks all this


    And based on those two observations, we worry that there is a risk of

  fragmenting the Internet, stories like Chinese shipping data not

  getting out across the world, and people don't know where their goods

  are, similar issues around the GDPR, where merchants are worried to

  contract with Europeans because they might become liable over here,


    Such stories tell us about broader risks that businesses worry about,

  compliance costs for entry in the market.  And the flipside of it is

  that consumers worldwide, particularly in small markets and less

  purchasing power markets may lose out on the benefits that the Internet

  promises for us all for as an air for exchanging ideas in commerce.

    So what we brought to help mitigate this list, what we as the digital

  policy institute are trying to do, bring in a data set that is timely

  and create a public inventory for everybody to use and bring it out in

  two distinct data products.  The first one we call we launched in April

  is an activity tracker we want to allow stakeholders to engage early so

  you don't need your own policy department to make your voice heard.

  That you can see what's going on in digital space, that you can act on

  and get your voice heard before a law is passed, before a regulation is

  finally adopted.

    As early as we can get it to you, we'll make it available to you and

  get you a notification if you're so inclined.  And the second data

  product is more going into detail, we call it a detailed mapping, which

  is about making -- dissecting laws into the relevant details,

  dissecting orders into what the main differences are.  So our uses can

  freely compare such laws across time and across space, figuring out

  really where choice differs across the planet.  What --  how these

  difference play out in the real world and what they may or may not want

  to do about it.  So we've been running with the activity trackers

  and -- April this year for a couple of months now and we have some

  findings that I want to share with you today.

    We have currently tracked around 1,000 such policy or regulatory

  changes for 20020 at the European member states at Switzerland for now.

  This is our launch data set.  And if you look at the -- just the 700

  activities that we track for this year alone, 700 policy changes that

  were proposed or implemented this year this these countries we see lots

  of activity in the big trading blocks, United States and Europe.  Buff

  also elsewhere.  There's a big difference between the centre and

  centralized action.  In Europe the European commission works on data

  governance and also on probably heard the regulation of artificial

  intelligence, what algorithms may or may not do and under what


    On the decentralist level on member states we see issues around

  content moderation but also taxation of the digital services, also

  e-commerce they become more active here in Europe.  In the United

  States also is more worried about data governance but competition,

  competition areas as we'll see on our next slide.  Also really big

  centre of activity.  And the states, the different states in the

  United States do also start moving on a tax front and privacy

  protection is also not a federal issue with the United States, but also

  more of a decentralized state level issue.

    The United States and U.S. -- and EU, not the only actors we have.

  There's lots going on in China, in Canada.  Where we have issues around

  ambitious content moderation law in Canada.  We see the bargaining

  power between small and large media actors negotiated in Australia.

  And other really state and developments mostly around competition, data

  governance and the like.  And if I break this up I talk about these

  different policy fields which we all try to capture as a Digital Policy

  Alert.  We try to take the most comprehensive view possible going from

  data governance regulation, content moderation, taxation.  But also

  like foreign direct investment or any service access and operation

  requirements.  We try to get them in.

    And if I break this up by these broad areas, what we'll see for 2021

  is that we have really five blocks that are highly active.  The data

  governance, competition, content, operational issues.  Taxation.  And

  data governance takes the cake by far.  Where we see the most activity.

  Fortunately also where coordination is on the way.  Although not far


    As you probably have heard we tried to get multi lateral cooperation

  on the economy issues at WTO, the World Trade Organization and

  so-called joint statement initiative where they tried to formulate a

  common text that the governments around the world can agree to on what

  they want to do with regulating the transfer of data, say.  But there's

  much to do and a lot of national of level action that is currently

  outside of the scope of that initiative.  Another thing that we find

  very interesting as the Digital Policy Alert references, is

  competition.  Not much of a development issue per se but raises very

  important, dicey questions like for instance who is upon for enforcing

  competition in global economy?

    If there is Facebook, merges with Gifi, two American companies but

  now European regulators want it to intervene and say they also affect

  our markets here.  Something you had classically in competition law

  which was much about where the companies are located no longer applies.

  It's also kind of hard to say when do we get in as regulators about


    Because usually we are as regulators all about consumer you surplus,

  that the consumers are not ripped off which is very hard as a concept

  to work in much of the digital economy.  And so they have to think

  about how really -- where to start as a competition and enforcement

  agency and where to stop.  We also see like content moderation where

  they all issue -- issue of harmful speech, this gray area between

  illegal speech and free speech, harmful speech.

    Where does the discussion begin that reminds us of very much of

  broadcasting legislation, where what you see on television varies

  greatly on different countries and continents.  And similar we see the

  different national takes on what is permissible content and what isn't.

    And finally, an interesting area for us is also taxation where you

  probably have heard of the OACD's attempt to get global minimum

  corporate income tax.  This is highly related to the digital economy.

  There are a bunch of countries around the world that have already

  proposed a so-called digital service tax, a tax on any Internet

  provided service.  That you provide in a country, like if you sell a

  stream of product to a Canadian, that the Canadian government would

  take tax you for that.

    There are a bunch of those that are implemented but not enforced.

  They hinge on the promise by the OECD accord that governments will pull

  in a global minimum tax in 2023.  And so until we have that, there's an

  extent on such digital service taxes and at least in Europe and in

  Canada.  So we'll see how that plays out because it will be an

  important part of how we regulate the digital economy.

    What I want to impress you is we -- as was said, finding interesting.

  There's much to come and I would be grateful if you keep engaging with

  us.  You can get to me at the digital policy org website.  Stay tuned

  for our first version coming in first quarter and report coming out in

  the second part of the year.  Here's my address and I look forward to

  your many comments and discussion now.  I give it back to you, William.

    >> WILLIAM DRAKE:  Perfect.  Right on time.  Excellent and very

  interesting.  Let's go to Witada.  Are you there and ready to go?


    >> WILLIAM DRAKE:  Hi.

    >> WITADA ANUKOONWATTAKA:  Hi.  Thank you very much.  I hope you can

  see my screen.

    Thank you.  I'm Witada Anukoonwattaka from Trade, Investment, and

  Innovation Division of ESCAP.

    What I would like to show you today is one of our initiatives that

  we're  looking at digital economy integration for Asia Pacific Region.

  And we work in collaboration with the European University in Stewart as

  well as OECD, to take and collect data for building tools to support


    What the collaborations here that we have with the OECD, and European

  University is actually lead us to -- to have background information

  that feed into a bigger -- bigger tools.  We call it digital

  and sustainable region integration index.  Which is an index capturing

  governments of Asia Pacific Region in the regional integration.  Not

  only digital economy, but actually there are different dimensions that

  we are looking into it:  Trade, investment, finance, digital policy,

  infrastructure, movement of people, corporations, and of course the

  important one especially for the 21st Century is the digital


    In our industry framework here, when we are looking at digital

  integration, we have -- we try to address not only the performance of

  countries in Asia Pacific Regions in terms of standard way of

  integrations, but we try to also address sustainable development

  perspective.  So you could see in our framework that there is

  conventional integration part, and sustainable integration part.  And

  these two parts have indicators within it that use in complementary to

  each other, to reflect both efficiency and sustainability of how the

  region perform.

    Talking specifically into this start economy integration is where our

  initiative on digital trade (?)  -- restrictiveness measurements is to

  begin.  Because through the assumptions that openness and harmonization

  of digital trade trends in the regions would allow interabilities and

  pave the way for better original research integrations.  We conduct

  data collection in collaboration with our partners at IN(?) And we

  establish the RDTII index.  And we use that index information -- as one

  of the informations that feed into industry.

    And this is the framework on this start, economic integration.  To

  put things simply, we put our measurements under these domains into

  four clusters:  Trade and regulation is where the IDTI original Digital

  Trade index is for thinking.  Apart from this reportery indicators, the

  cluster also looks into how digital goods and service trade flows in

  the regions are performed.

    How tariff is changed on these products.  And how progress the region

  makes in e-commerce penetrations.  So all of these subdomains is good

  thing together and give us information to talk about governments of the

  regions in terms of trade and regulatory integrations.

    Apart from this domain, the registry also captures performance in

  infrastructure connectivities that are relevant to digital trade.  Not

  only for sectors like ICT, but also soft sector like finance

  infrastructure.  These two clusters is what we call conventional

  measurements.  When I was saying we also taking care of sustainability

  of the integration and that is reflected in the second part of this

  framework, which is the inclusive part.  And security part.

    Talking about inclusiveness, we try to proxy them, it's not perfect.

  But we try to capture inclusive access to core sector like Internet,

  finance, structures and inclusive of e-commerce penetration.  When

  we're looking to not only the populations, percentage of population

  access to Internet, but looking to how proportionate it is when

  compared between majority and minority groups of people.

    So cyber security, the proxy that we use right now is -- this is

  still the ongoing initiative.  So we ask the revising indicators when

  we file -- this is the preliminary one.  The cyber security now we use

  secure Internet server as one of the proxies there.

    Just to give you a snapshot of what we found:  The regions based on

  these two measurements, as you may expect, Asia Pacific is very

  diverse.  We have very advanced countries and very small and low income

  countries.  So diverse performance is what you would expect.  But more

  interesting is also when we compare conventional index with sustainable

  index, many countries have much more modest performance in terms of

  sustainability of the integrations.  And often these developed

  countries are landlocked and left behind.  Not only in terms of

  infrastructures, but also in terms of regulations that they apply.

  There are two groups of them for these poor, low income country.  One

  groups go into overly -- (?) And the other group go into not

  sufficiently (?)

    So both of them -- both groups sitting in two different ends of the

  spectrum when it comes to restrictiveness.

    They also have this advantage in terms of distance and other things

  that make them difficult to participate in digital goods value chains.

  And not be able to attract FDI, which supposed to bring them capital

  that they lack, or technology that they lack, and lead to the higher

  global development.  And this gap is -- is locked in digital domain

  when compared to other regional integration measurements.

    If you remember, we have seven (?).  So when compared to trade,

  investment, or other areas of (?), digital economy integration, the

  gaps between these large and small countries become more significant.

    So having said that, I still encourage you to look more into the

  publications, I keep in my first slide, to the registry, to see more

  in-depth on what we do there and how we can use the information from

  industry with -- you can dig deeper into similarity of Asia Pacific

  Regions.  And we have the data sets available.  And we are actually

  upgraded to the second version which we expect to release early next


    And more analysis on what we found in this too will come along.  One

  of that is the Asia Pacific digital trade, the regulatory part that we

  will be launching in a month or so.

    And for ESCAP, our priority is three things.  First we establish

  evidence which not only ESCAP and (?), the initiative in OECD, in

  youth, and what you do here in this workshops also provide evidence.

    But using this evidence, we use it to build capacity for

  policy-makers.  To support their reform of the policy.  So the

  framework that we develop will be fed into our training materials hour

  capacity building workshop and technical assistance that we engage with

  countries in Asia Pacific.  It uses also to support their negotiations,

  capacities, we establish that from like trade negotiation advisors that

  the gaps between research, evidence that we collect, and our partner

  collects and use them to become the stools for advising where is the

  weak point of policy across different areas.  And compare it with their

  concerned parties when they have to go to negotiation tables or so they

  know where they are and where their peers are.

    So that's all for the ESCAP initiatives that I would like to

  introduce for you today.  Thank you very much.

    >> WILLIAM DRAKE:  Thank you very much, Witada.  That was very


    May I ask just because this is a short session and we want to make

  sure that we have enough time for open discussion that the other

  panelists keep an eye on the chat.  And I will let you know when you

  reach the eight-minute mark, at which point it would be good to start

  to wind down.

    Okay.  So let's turn next to Geoffroy.  Geoffroy, are you there?

    >> GEOFFROY GUEPIE:  Yes.  Many thanks.  I will try to be short.

    But let me share my screen.

    Okay.  I think -- is it shared?

    >> Yes.

    >> WILLIAM DRAKE:  It's good.

    >> GEOFFROY GUEPIE:  I'm Geoffroy Guepie, work for Economic

  Commission for Africa, United Economic Commission for Africa and work

  in our digital trade initiative.

    Just to say that of course during the importance that digital trade

  is gaining in the world, but also the challenges associated with its --

  its measurements, our commission launched the same way as ESCAP, a

  digital trade laboratory integration initiative toward the end of 2020.

  This (?) of the main objective of assessing the readiness of African

  country to effectively engage in digital trade and e-commerce.

    And this incentive comes at a time when preferred (?) of negotiation,

  of AFCT, I mean African Continental Free Trade Area.  So it's come at

  the (?) of the AFCTA, for using on e-commerce.  And it is very

  important as we want to also participate in this negotiation and give

  some education, give some policy recommendation to negotiators.

    In corporate incentive begin with a training component.  And training

  and research compliance are given the tools to collect and compile the

  digital trade.  The data is collected, developed at a national level to

  inform sue separate -- the first one is digital service trade

  restriction, and the second one is digital trade integration.  I want

  to just mention that digital trade service, we work together with OECD,

  and digital trade integration we work together with European Union

  University and closely with Martina, who is there.

    So therefore -- and the information collected through this initiative

  may have multi use.  The first one, which is very important for us, is

  to assisting member states on digital trade issue at large and

  e-commerce, particularly in the context of the AFCTA negotiation.

    The second one also interesting is to expand the coverage of Africa

  country in OECD digital service trader or restrictiveness.  Before

  initiative, the only African country which was covered was South

  Africa.  So now we want to expand it to the 28 countries that we are --

  that we are analyzing during this initiative.

    The third users will be to build a digital trade integration index

  for Africa.  Because we have already an integration which -- an

  index -- sorry -- which measure original to the integration in Africa,

  and to have the world picture of regional integration we want to add

  with this incentive, we want to add a digital component to this index


    And of course data will be publicly available for anyone interested

  to make analysis on digital trade and data will be publicly available

  through a dedicated platform.

    So now let's focus on the two database that we collect and also share

  with you the key finding that we have from now.

    So the first one is the data related to digital service trade

  restriction.  So the information collected was used to construct an

  index of restrictiveness of trade in digital services for each country

  that we cover.  And in the graph you will see the -- some of the

  countries that we covered because the initiative is still ongoing and

  we have not all the 28 countries that we cover.

    So this is a sample that we have for now.

    And the result is instead very interesting.  The main result, the

  first result striking first we said that is highlighted with this graph

  is that most of the African countries have reduced restrictive measures

  to digital trade.

    Take the example of Uganda, here, from 2014 to now how the variation

  is very -- is very big.  If you compare Uganda to Zambia, for example,

  you see that there was at the same level in 2014 and now we see the --

  you can appreciate very well the variation in Uganda and in most of the

  country in our sample.  So one interesting result is that main

  restriction to across African country formed infrastructure, and this

  infrastructure pillars we each compare data protection and also

  infrastructure requirement where we are interconnection between

  Internet and -- (?)

    Also interesting to note in the first result is that country does

  have a high restriction score for intellectual property rights and

  electronic transaction are generally not party to international

  agreements.  And this gives the message that -- indicate that --

  sorry -- regulation should ensure balanced protection of intellectual

  property and property rights order.

    So the fact to ratify international agreement with ensure balanced

  protection with the partner of intellectual property rights local or

  come from abroad.

    And now let's turn on the results from the digital integration data

  that we collect.  And concerning this preliminary results show that

  African countries are relatively integrated in the digital trade.

    Law and legislation do not discriminate between digital trade

  relevant sectors and other sectors.  You can take the example of FDI,

  for example.  In all countries that we analyzed, we see that in digital

  trade we live in sector, whether in digital trade within sector or not,

  FDI is subject to the same criteria.

    Parts of second result which is interesting is that many countries

  evade lack legislating (?) from work in core digital area like data

  protection,  cross (?) transfer, and consumer protection law.  Here so

  you can -- the example, in Zimbabwe, Tanzania, do not have a

  legislative or -- work for data protection.  If you take, for example,

  Tanzania, they have not a consumer protection law.  And many countries

  that we cover have not, you know, some consumer protection law.  There

  are many laws related to digital trade.

    And also further what's interesting about the digital trade

  transaction, which is a high (?) in some country.  So let us conclude

  that it is important to have a anonymized rule and regulation across

  Africa, especially when it comes to cross-border transfer data.

    Also we can see that after this analysis, that the emergence of a

  climate of trust is very important.  And also here consumer protection

  regulation could help to increase this confidence in terms of digital

  trade environment in Africa.

    And of course many other big issues need to be clarified and in terms

  of regulation, IPO, good and services sector, which are important for

  economics, also need to have a look.

    So I will end here and say that the analysis is still ongoing and we

  will get more result, of course.  Which is very interesting.  And it is

  highlighted here is data regulation, is -- in Africa needs be -- how

  you say, to be looked clearly to open trade in digital services.

    Many thanks.

    >> WILLIAM DRAKE:  Thank you very much.  That was very interesting

  and good data and evidence from the African case.

    Finally we have Martina.  Would you like to --

    >> MARTINA FERRACANE:  Yes.  Thanks, Will.

    Well, for me it's extremely interesting to see the results of these

  studies, because you can really see how diverse countries can be in

  different -- in the different regions we have looked at.  And this

  shows that there is a lot of work to do to clarify also what policies

  can be implemented that will be more digitally trade integrated.

    Well, on my side I just wanted to start by saying that we are here at

  the Internet Governance Forum, UN forum on Internet governance.  And I

  have heard the word the "trade," very, very few times.  And it's

  surprising because, when we discuss here platform regulation, data

  regulation, content moderation, all issues which are now being

  discussed in trade agreements, countries are taking commitment on this


    But still in this forum there is not enough space and interest in a

  topic which is affecting greatly Internet governance.

    But wait, starting from this introduction, I move to the presentation

  of our project, which connects a bit the project we heard before in

  different ways.  And this is a project which we have launched in July,

  at the European University Institute, which aims to map digital trade

  policies and create an index.

    So before presenting the project, I want to quickly present the other

  three initiatives, which are -- which exist at the global level on this

  topic.  There is the DTRI initiative at (?) which I will present in a

  moment.  The digital STRI, which is not OICD initiative that we heard

  about before, because the UN is now helping to expand the coverage of

  this index.  And then there is the policy, Digital Policy Alert that we

  already heard from -- by Johannes.

    So just quickly in terms of what are the results and information we

  have on these initiatives.

    On one the DTRI, which is an index developed at this site which now

  has now been discontinued.  So this is also a reason why we are

  starting our new initiative.  This was the first initiative to try to

  map major (?) in digital trade and attempted to create an index.  This

  was done a few years ago in 2018.  And this initiative covered 64

  countries; and by creating an open database, which today is still being

  used by academics and also international organizations, by having this

  database it was possible to create an index.

    All the methodologies available online.  And this index gave a very

  clear picture for the first time on the level of restrictiveness the

  countries had on digital trade.  And it's -- it was easy to spot China,

  Russia, India as the main countries imposing restrictions on digital

  trade; while New Zealand, Iceland, Norway, Hong Kong are countries that

  were found to be imposing very few restrictions.

    And by looking at the map, just in terms of number of measures -- so

  without weighting, putting weights on scores -- you can again see

  India, China, and by also Germany, France imposing a lot of measures

  that have an impact on digital trade.  And on the other hand, countries

  like Australia, and again New Zealand imposing few restrictions.

    The OECD initiative, a more recent, is an expansion of their STRI

  index to have a digital pillar.

    And it covers less countries, I think it's about 35.  But thanks to

  UN now they're expanding their scope.  So they would provide yet to 60

  or so.  And these initiative which focuses on services only.  And in

  particular in four areas.  So infrastructure, payments, IT, and here

  again they create an index.  All the information about the index is

  available online.  And if we just look at the number of measures that

  they find, the picture is very similar to the other initiative from the


    Again we find China, India, Russia imposing a lots of measures, but

  the EU, they find much more measures in eastern Europe compared to the

  previous initiative which found more measures in France and Germany.

    This is just to give a picture of what is out there; and of course

  then there is the Digital Policy Alert, very recently launched.

  Johannes already said everything about it.  It is mainly an exercise to

  map more measures, but it doesn't have any analysis and trying to

  create an index out of those measures; but is a very helpful tool to

  find information which in implemented at the global level.

    So in practice we have our first initiative, which has been

  discontinued.  Another initiative which covers only services.  And a

  third initiative which maps measures.

    So we thought that there was a need to do more and to work farther on

  measuring the impact of this -- of those policies.

    And this is important for different reasons.  First of all, we still

  need to provide more transparency and understanding on the type of

  measures which affect digital trade.

    Still there is no commonly agreed taxonomy, there is no commonly

  agreement on different measures, more to do on this front and we are

  trying also to work on.

    Then thanks to the initiatives like this we can create options for

  comparison across countries.  And can conduct quantitative analysis.

  This is the most important point for us as a university and an

  institute working on policy because through this date that what we want

  to do is then conduct empirical exercises.  And I've worked in the past

  with the indexes I've presented before on some of those analyses.  We

  work on data policies specifically.

    And using the information of this databases, so we could look at the

  -- empirically at how different types of measures impact different

  variables.  We found that the certain type of cross-border data

  policies can and are restrictive services trade.  We also found that

  domestic data policies can reduce productivity of companies.  And in

  our most -- the most recent study we did for the war bank, what we did

  was to -- starting for the database, dividing countries into three

  categories, whether they have open regime on data, whether they have

  conditions applied to data flows, and whether they have a controlled

  regime, like the China approach.

    And we could empirically, then estimate the impact of these regimes

  on services.  And we found that an open approach provides -- is related

  to more trading services.  The conditional approach of the EU is

  associated with more or less trade depending on the sector we are

  looking at, while the approach followed by China for example is always

  associated with less trade.

    And this is important data if we want to then provide the good advice

  to policy-makers.

    So quickly presenting what the project is about, we have created a

  network of experts across different universities.  For now the

  universities are London school of economics, the European Institute in

  Bako (?) University.  We meet often to discuss these issues and to

  create a common understanding on these issues.  And we are collecting

  data on -- to launch an open data set, thanks to the collaboration with

  the UN; and already we have heard about this collective efforts before.

    And we aim to develop an index through this -- using the data we are


    The partners of initiative on top of the four universities are ESCAP,

  UN ECLAC, Latin America, ECIPE, and the THSA network, which is a

  network in Australia and Asia.

    Just very quickly showing what is a practical implementation of what

  we are doing, we have -- the regional digital third integration index

  developed through ESCAP -- I will not go through the methodology, but

  just to tell you there is similar measures to be looked at.  And with

  this index we have already called a map and create a ranking of

  countries based on their approach toward digital trade.

    We can then look, for example, how each country is doing compared

  with the regional average on the different pillars we are looking at,

  and then easily spot our -- where a country can improve.

    And then we have also looked into similarity across measures, and

  this all data and report you will find in the UN.  And what we did was

  also to start discussing with the policy-makers in certain countries

  and with the Philippines, there's a report also out which really used

  the data we collected to provide specific policy advices that was then

  well taken and implemented with interest.

    So I intend to implement it in the Philippines.

    To conclude, what we are doing with this project is currently we have

  kicked off the data collection, and in November we started webinar

  series.  With meeting on security.  Next week we're having a webinar on

  data flows.  And more issues will be discussed in open webinars which

  are open to everybody.

    And we aim to finalize data collection in March.  And launch the

  index in May.  And then start with the first annual report in

  September.  If you want to know more about in initiative and you want

  to know, join the webinars during our initiatives, you can Google our

  project on -- and you will also have our QR code to go exact.  Thanks.

    >> WILLIAM DRAKE:  Okay.  Excellent.  Thank you very much for that,


    We don't have a lot of time left, but that's okay, I guess.  This is

  not a workshop with a lot of people banging on the door, champing at

  the bit ready to talk.  But we do have a few minutes.

    Are there any people participating who have not had a chance to speak

  thus far, would like to offer a comment, question, provocation?  So on?

    If so, you can just type something into the chat or otherwise raise

  your hand in a way that Martina would notice.  We ought to be able to

  do that.  I assume the hand raising thing works.  What do they got --

  maybe it does not.

    Okay.  If there are none, let me ask, then, whether any of the

  speakers have any questions that they would like to ask each other by

  way of clarification, amplification, so on.  That would be of course

  interesting as well.

    Anyone have any -- we've been Zoombombed.  Look at that.  How lovely.

  That's great.

    >> Embarrassing.  I think this happened already in other sessions.

    >> WILLIAM DRAKE:  Really?  You know -- it's just really -- people

  are so bored.  You know?  They just really -- get a life.


    >> WILLIAM DRAKE:  Okay.  That's charming.

    Anyway, be that as it may, are there any comments that any panelists

  would like to make to each other?

    >> MARTINA FERRACANE:  I think we have been hacked.  There are

  three --

    >> WILLIAM DRAKE:  Yeah, we certainly have.

    >> Hello, guys, how you do?

    >> WILLIAM DRAKE:  All right.

    >> MARTINA FERRACANE:  There are still a few people connected.

    >> WILLIAM DRAKE:  All right.  This is a waste of our time.  I was --

    >> So many people joined towards the end of the session.

    >> WILLIAM DRAKE:  At least they waited until you all got to speak.

  That's the good news.

    Kind of pathetic, people are so...whatever.  You know, what are you

  going to do?

    I'm sorry.  Let's me just ask the panelists, since nobody has a

  question to each other.

    I think what you're all doing is very interesting.  And obviously

  there is a very important case for trying to make -- gather this

  information and make it more comparable across cases.  And for

  networking the different initiatives together as we're starting here by

  having this session and what Martina is doing with multiple players

  involved as well.

    I'm just wondering if people see any path forward from these various

  initiatives, in terms of linking them together more to build a

  community of expertise and practice that can start to have some

  salience politically with the governments, the trade negotiators, but

  also with the governments more generally.  I mean, how do we go about

  institutionalizing cooperation and making it count?

    We've seen this happen in the IGF, we've seen successful cases.  I've

  been involved in, for example, launching global Internet governance

  academic network back  in 2006.  But then we also had an effort to form

  a dynamic coalition on digital trade, and it went nowhere.  So you

  know, things go back and forth.

    But I'm just wondering, does anyone see possibilities here for trying

  to grow some collaboration and making it more visible?

    Anybody have any thoughts?

    >> JOHANNES FRITZ:  To me I think it's really cool to see.  I mean,

  Martina has been in this space for a very long time.  And now she took

  the lessons and said, we need these aggregations that she's doing,

  she's doing the research.  I think we are 00 for my -- we are trying to

  gather data and help with sectionalities.  Because right now we capture

  data, the analyses that also Geoffroy Witada talked about, creating

  indices and making sure where the pressure points are.  I think this is

  great.  It looks really good.

    And I hope we can map into it readily, as Martina indicated.

    >> WILLIAM DRAKE:  That would be great.  Yeah.

    >> MARTINA FERRACANE:  On our side, from UI perspective, we really

  see this as the start of an exercise which aims eventually to reach out

  to policy-makers and try to create this more open community.  And in

  our webinars, for example, we are always trying to reach out to people

  in different stakeholder groups, inviting them to our discussion so we

  can really try to make it multistakeholder.

    And I think the collaboration with the UN is very important.  Because

  they have a unique channel to discuss and talk and present best

  practices to policy-makers.  And personally I think the experience with

  UN ESCAP and the Philippines government has been the most interesting

  for me in my professional experience because it was really with dark

  channel, thanks to the UN, to provide specific recommendation based on

  the study we did to policy-makers that were involved in different

  ministries and different areas of the government.

    And this is really what the studies eventually dreamed to do.  Not

  only with one government, but with more.  So this is the way to go for

  us.  And we keep doing empirical analysis to try to then identify best


    >> WILLIAM DRAKE:  That's excellent.  Thanks a lot for that, Martina.

    And yes, you've been a real catalyst here in this field, which has

  been really helpful to everybody.

    Would anybody else like to add something?

    We're running up towards the end.  I don't know if IGF intends to

  shut it down, the recording in one minute.  Any last thoughts from any

  of the other speakers?  Geoffroy?  Witada?  Anybody?

    >> WITADA ANUKOONWATTAKA:  I just want to add from UN perspective,

  especially ESCAP, what we are doing with UI, and with other partners.

  We are using it to communicate directly with the government.  So we run

  expert group, we think, we invite government to understand the


    And then we have received requests in building the capacity for

  analyzing this issue more into the policy decisions.  So that's what

  would allow us to bring the evidence that we found, also make them

  fit directly into their policies.

    The Philippines, as I mentioned, are the pilot countries.  But I do

  believe that going forward there will be more.  More for us to reach


    >> WILLIAM DRAKE:  That would be something to look forward to for


    All right.  Well, I think we are actually a minute over time.  So

  again, I apologize for the little bit of Zoombombing there.  Apparently

  that's been going around during this IGF meeting.  And what can you do?

    Hopefully it will be edited before this sits on the Web.

    So...I want to thank Martina for taking the initiative to organise

  this.  And for asking me to moderate it.

    And to all of you panelists, who are participating and reporting on

  your very interesting research, I'm hoping that there will be a lot

  more conversations like this going forward and that we can all begin to

  work together in a collaborative manner to help build a global

  knowledge base that will be useful in informing policy discussions.

  Because clearly it's needed.  There's a lot of bad information out

  there, needless to say.

    And a lot of misconstructions out there.  So good solid,

  research-based information is great.

    So thank you to everybody.  And best of luck.  Happy trails.  And see

  you down the line somewhere.

    >> MARTINA FERRACANE:  Thank you.

    >> WITADA ANUKOONWATTAKA:  Thank you, bye.

    >> GEOFFROY GUEPIE:  Thank you.

    >> JOHANNES FRITZ:  Thank you.