Economic integration and effective engagement in digital trade have been identified as key priorities in Asia-Pacific, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) for accelerating recovery from the COVID-19 crisis and as engines of sustainable development. Digitalization increases the number of businesses and consumers accessible globally, helps diffuse ideas and knowledge, and raises productivity and consumer welfare. It also enables new business models and practices, bringing both opportunities and challenges. As Governments take steps to regulate the digital economy, the challenges are daunting. Governments have to ensure that regulatory environment creates sufficient opportunities for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and that the benefits from digital trade can be realised and shared more widely.
While the infrastructure deficit for digital trade is evident in many countries in Asia- Pacific, Africa, and LAC, a conducive regulatory environment is an essential prerequisite for increasing the viability of infrastructure development and the promotion of digital trade. In this context, this report aims to assist policymakers in the three regions to better understand digital trade regulatory environment within and between their regions. Being well informed about the policy context not only at home but also abroad, will allow policymakers to generate useful insights for identifying specific areas for attention and potential improvement to facilitate digital trade.