Last week Dr Chris Foster was an invited presenter at the workshop "Trade and the digital economy" in Bangkok, Thailand, organised by UN agencies UNESCAP/UNCTAD and the Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI)
He presented a paper entitled "Value chains and the challenges of connectivity" which explores the growth on digital connectivity in the global South, and how this might be changing firm relationships. This presentation particularly drew on research examining the impacts of digital technologies in small and medium enterprise in East Africa.
This workshop highlights a growing interest on the role of digital technologies to transforming trade. In the ASEAN region, there is growing use of digital ICT and e-commerce within firms, including many smaller firms. But, it is not yet clear the best directions for policy makers and governments to support these innovations to drive wider economic growth. This workshop was a first step to exploring such questions.