Digital Technologies, Services and the Fourth Industrial Revolution
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The increasingly rapid uptake of digital technologies is launching the global economy into the ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’ and the next transformative wave of globalisation. Trade in merchandise is in long-run relative decline; trade in services, especially e services, is on a long-term relative upward trend - and associated cross-border data flows are growing exponentially. These structural shifts, and their impacts on competitiveness, are set to intensify. The G20 must assert a leadership role by signalling best practice policy and regulatory settings, including sustained openness to international trade, investment and data flows, so every nation can reap the productivity gains of the digital age. This Working Paper has been prepared as background for a short Policy Brief for the 2020 THINK20 Taskforce 1: Trade and Investment.