With the expansion of the Internet and advances in information and communication technology, more and more services and “digital products,” including software, music, books and videos, can be delivered electronically. For example, IBM applies these technologies to provide cloud computing services, a cost-effective and flexible way to deliver robust IT capabilities to our clients via networks. Thus, the Internet and private networks are becoming “the trade routes of the 21st Century.”
Given the growth of “digital trade,” it is important that trade agreements be modernized to address current and future issues related to cross-border trade in services and digital products. For example, cross-border data flows that are necessary to deliver these products and services may raise issues such as personal data privacy, cyber security, regulatory issues and consumer protection.
IBM is working with our clients, other IT-sector companies and governments to define a trade agenda for the 21st Century to ensure that potential market access barriers to digital trade can be addressed in a reasonable and constructive manner in trade agreements and other policy mechanisms. Through appropriate public-private partnerships, IBM believes that we can instill confidence and ensure security in digital trade so that it becomes an increasingly important contributor to overall trade and economic growth for both developed and developing countries. IBM will continue to provide leadership in developing this new trade agenda.