Digital Trade in a Post-Pandemic Data-Driven Economy

9 Pages Posted: 3 Jun 2020

See all articles by Dan Ciuriak

Dan Ciuriak

Ciuriak Consulting Inc.; Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI); C.D. Howe Institute; Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada; BKP Development Research & Consulting GmbH

Date Written: June 2, 2020


The pandemic is impacting at a time of major transformational change in the global economy driven by the digital transformation, a decoupling between the United States and China, and the rise of populism. The massive economic shock of the pandemic is not only accelerating changes that were “in the works” but is also deflecting the evolution of the economy in new and unexpected directions by changing market evaluation of supply chain risks and raising national concerns about the robustness of domestic capacities for emergency response. Whether V-shaped, W-shaped, or Nike swoosh-shaped, the important issue is not so much when (and if) the global economy regains the heights of the pre-pandemic era, but where the recovery takes the global economy in terms of how and where work is done. A substantial part of the fixed capital stock will have to be written down or written off, including the backbone economic infrastructure; comparative advantage of nations will be reshaped by national investment strategies (which may include an accelerated adoption of green economy strategies to address climate change); and business strategies will evolve to take advantage of accelerated technological development and to respond to changing patterns of demand. These developments will naturally have major implications for the direction and structure of trade, both as regards traditional goods and services and the rapidly growing forms of digital and digitally enabled trade. The accelerated expansion of the latter forms also heighten the needs for trade governance reforms.

Keywords: digital trade, digitally-enabled trade, ecommerce, data-driven economy, WTO, G20, DEPA

JEL Classification: F13, F15, F51, F61, F68, K21, K24

Suggested Citation

Ciuriak, Dan, Digital Trade in a Post-Pandemic Data-Driven Economy (June 2, 2020). Available at SSRN: or

Dan Ciuriak (Contact Author)

Ciuriak Consulting Inc. ( email )

83 Stewart St.
Ottawa, Ontario K1N 6H9

Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) ( email )

57 Erb Street West
Waterloo, Ontario N2L 6C2

C.D. Howe Institute ( email )

67 Yonge St., Suite 300
Toronto, Ontario M5E 1J8

Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada ( email )



BKP Development Research & Consulting GmbH ( email )

Romanstrasse 74
München, 80639

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