The past 18 months have seen the rules on global trade rewritten.

The profound digital transformation that was already underway has accelerated, slashing costs and reforging supply chains—with innovative shippers, banks, trading blocs and fintechs leading the way.

As a result, all governments, businesses and trade practitioners now face the urgent task of understanding the technology trends and practical and policy challenges involved in grasping the opportunity of digital trade.

Alongside this, policymakers and non-governmental organisations forecast that digital technologies and standards will open trade to millions more small and micro-enterprises across the world, cementing a new path to global prosperity.

Digital tracking and provenance solutions could also boost sustainability and help reduce carbon emissions.

These “tech-tonic” shifts are a significant opportunity for all stakeholders in trade, but many obstacles still need to be overcome.

The World Trade Symposium 2022 will bring together top executives and leading global policymakers for a day of rigorous discussion and debate on these critical issues.

The event will reassess the new “trade lines” created by the pandemic, explore the scope and impact of digital trade technologies and evaluate the opportunities and challenges ahead.

The audience will:

  • hear from innovators, businesses and policymakers
  • learn about practical solutions, and
  • build networks with global leaders and innovators

Now in its seventh year, the World Trade Symposium promises to deliver unmissable insights on what matters most in global trade today.


  • 9 am – Moderator’s opening remarks

The new world order: Global outlook and trade trends

Content block 1 – Pathways to digital prosperity

  • 9:05 am – Opening keynote panel: Accelerating trade through digital technologies

Digital technologies, policies and standards can reshape trade and chart a path to prosperity for businesses, regions and countries. Find out how to master digital trade in 2022 and beyond by identifying the strategies that will do most to propel trade forward.

  • 9:40 am – Fireside chat: Trade in an age of change

Global trade is changing rapidly. As new technologies are being adopted, new blocs, alliances and disputes are forging a fresh trading paradigm amid the pandemic. In this session you will hear how these forces and megatrends will shape the future of global trade.

  • 10 am – Oxford-style debate: This house believes that digitalisation will benefit all equally and fairly

Everybody hopes digitalisation will benefit everyone, but what are its unintended consequences and implications? Is the reality truly fair?

  • 10:30 am – Break and networking session

Content block 2 – Unlocking opportunities through digitalisation

  • 11.00 am – Innovation insights: Pathways to resilience

Making supply chains resilient is not a one-time change—it takes ongoing vigilance. Our speaker will show how they overhauled their organisation’s processes and systems to build resilience, demonstrating the changing nature of supply chains and the need for diversification, showing what pathways are profitable and highlighting the opportunities that exist for businesses and consumers.

  • 11:20 am – Innovation insights: The next frontier—Digital trade platforms

By bringing together players across the trade value chain, digital trade platforms will boost efficiency and shorten time to market. But questions about interoperability, regulation and standardisation remain. Learn about the opportunities in digital trade platforms and how you can make the most out of them.

  • 11:40 am – Innovation insights: Empowering SMEs through digital financing

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) form the backbone of the global economy. In this session you will learn how fintechs, banks and others are enabling SMEs to finance their trade more easily, keeping global trade moving.

  • 12:00 pm – Digitalisation: Crowdsourcing innovation—interactive session

This session will unlock the creativity and knowledge of the audience and panellists through an interactive session building on insights from earlier in the day. The audience will have the chance to ask questions and share their experiences so that everyone can uncover the potential of digitalisation.

  • 12:30 pm – Lunch and networking

Content block 3 – Building outcomes for good

  • 2.00pm – Opportunities for a sustainable future using digital technologies

Digital solutions, including those related to tracking and provenance, promise to boost sustainability and reduce carbon emissions across supply chains. But are these solutions delivering yet? In this session you will hear about ways to pivot profitably towards sustainable outcomes using digital technologies, along with the opportunities for solution providers and the key advantages for early adopters.

  • 2:30 pm – Beyond regional lines: Technology for global prosperity

Tech innovation has the potential to open up trade to millions more small and micro enterprises across the world, boost inclusion and cement a new path for global prosperity. In this session you will learn about the role of tech innovation in promoting regional and global integration, hear the latest information on policies and standards, and gauge the effect of innovation on financial inclusion and the global economy.

  • 3:00 pm – Bridging the trade finance gap

Achieving optimal trade outcomes will require innovative ways to allow firms that are normally excluded to access finance. In this session you will learn how digital financing and global standards can bridge the trade finance gap, gain a deeper understanding of the progress that has already been made and identify the next steps to be taken in accelerating economic growth.

  • 3:30 pm – Break

Content block 4 – Reviving trade: The path ahead

  • 4.00 pm – Closing keynote interview: The digital trade imperative

As the world recovers from the covid-19 crisis, economic growth, inclusion and sustainability have become crucial for both developed countries and emerging markets. To achieve these imperatives businesses will need to deploy digital tech and governments to provide clear policies and support. How can humanity follow the right course?

  • 4:20 pm – Closing keynote panel: Redefining trade lines—Setting the global agenda for a digital future

What should be the global agenda for the digital future, and what can you do on a personal level and within your organisation to make the digital future more inclusive and sustainable? After a day of debate, discussion and interaction, we invite everyone to share the actions they plan to take personally and organisationally to transform digital trade and carve out a path to global prosperity.

  • 5:00 pm – Chair’s closing remarks