Nobel Prize-winning economist urges global cooperation on digital trade

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Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz on Saturday urged the avoidance of zero-sum thinking and nationalistic mentalities so that all countries can reap the benefits of digital trade.

Stiglitz made the remarks via video-link while addressing a forum held on the sidelines of the ongoing China International Fair for Trade in Services (CIFTIS), underlining the need to strengthen global cooperation and multilateralism.

Noting that digital trade is a fast-developing arena, he called for the establishment of international standards to prevent the development of different systems for digital trade in different parts of the world, which would prevent its full benefits being realized.

“Unless we do something about international taxation, the risk is that countries will be deprived of badly needed revenues, and unless we do something about competition, the risk is that the digital monopolies will undermine the basis of competitive economy,” Stiglitz said.

He said that, in order to achieve successful international cooperation, it is necessary to increase transparency “in the platforms, their algorithms, and in the process of formulating relevant rules.”

Themed “Global Services, Shared Prosperity,” the CIFTIS runs from Sept. 4 to 9 and has attracted about 100,000 attendees, with 18,000 enterprises and institutions from 148 countries and regions taking part. 

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