Innovation and new technologies are key drivers of economic growth. Promoting innovation has thus become a critical policy objective pursued by governments and firms in the context of a changing global landscape where global value chains are a critical conduit for technology diffusion and digital technologies are reshaping business models and strategies.
Yet despite its growing prominence in the global agenda, innovation has received relatively little attention as a self-standing all-encompassing issue in the international trading system. Against this background, the E15 Expert Group on Trade and Innovation has taken a fresh look at the trade and innovation nexus, examining the challenges and opportunities posed by the growing importance of innovation in a globalised economy; identifying in this context the contributions and limitations of the current global trade system; and recommending options for improving related policies and international trade rules to promote innovation for prosperity and sustainability.
More specifically, the Group has examined the factors that make innovation a crucial aspect of the development process in the present economic environment; assessed how the global innovation landscape has changed as a result of globalisation; investigated whether the current trade regulatory frameworks, in particular WTO agreements, adequately support innovation as a policy objective in the context of the knowledge economy and the digital environment; and identified how the international trade system can be made more supportive of enabling environments for innovation.