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Online Conference on the “Role of Advanced technologies in overcoming COVID-19 disruptions in international trade”

2 July 2020

Geneva, Switzerland (virtual workshop)

This virtual conference on the role of advanced technologies provides a platform for experts and interested parties to discuss how to overcome international supply chain and trade disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak. The conference is organized by the Advisory Group on Advanced Technologies of the UN/CEFACT - an intergovernmental body of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe.

Date and Time: 2 July 2020 from 13:00 to 16:00 (Geneva time)


Today we are facing serious disruption of social and business processes, caused by COVID-19 outbreak. International trade and logistics are one of the most affected sectors of the global economy by COVID-19. WTO predicts that world trade is set to plummet by between 13% and 32% in 2020 and nearly all regions will suffer double-digit declines in trade volumes in 2020.

In times of COVID-19 pandemic, these issues are even more exacerbated through the pressure put on international trade. Effective planning, forecasting risk management and communication between stakeholders as well as systems interoperability is more important than ever. Despite the expansion of advanced technologies recently, COVID-19 tested readiness of international supply chains and proves that available technologies are far from being exploited at range, which would facilitate trade, business and social processes efficiently.

Background Documents

  • Report on the impact of COVID-19 outbreak on international trade and logistics and ways advanced technologies can help overcome such disruptions - ECE/AGAT/2020/INF.5


The goal of the conference is to create a discussion platform for experts and interested parties to share their insights on interoperability, digital platforms and products to minimize COVID-19 trade disruptions. These three areas will be identified as solutions in the report of the Advisory Group on impact of COVID-19 outbreak on international trade and logistics and ways advanced technologies can help overcome such disruptions. During this conference, Advisory Group will invite speakers representing stakeholders in different position of international supply chain and eBusiness, ranging from international organizations, non governmental organizations, policy makers, private sector representatives, to discuss their advanced technology concepts, ongoing projects, existing use cases, together challenges and obstacles they face implementing such advanced technologies and transferable lessons learned overcoming them. 

UNECE welcomes the following groups to participate in this conference:

  • UN/CEFACT experts
  • Government officials and policy makers
  • Traders and representatives of business associations
  • Decision makers and implementers of IT systems supporting eBusiness
  • Private sector experts and consultants in trade facilitation and e-trade

Organizer
This event is organized by the Advisory Group on Advanced Technologies in Trade and Logistics. UN/CEFACT established an Advisory Group in order to support the UNECE secretariat and UN/CEFACT on advanced technologies in trade facilitation and electronic business. The technologies in question include Blockchain, Internet of Things, and Artificial Intelligence – the most recent areas of rapid development in the international supply chain.


  • Opening
    o   Elisabeth Tuerk (Director, ECTD/UNECE)  Speech
    o   Sue Probert (UN/CEFACT Chair)
    o   Stefano Quintarelli (Chair of Advisory Group on Advance Technologies (AGAT)
  • Session 1 - Standards and interoperability
       Moderator: Virginia Cram-Martos, UN/CEFACT Domain Coordinator, Trade Facilitation Procedures Domain
    o   Luca Castellani, Legal Officer, UNCITRAL  Slides
    o   Thomas Nägele, Attorney at Law & Managing Partner, NÄGELE Rechtsanwälte GmbH   Slides
    o   Volker Krümpel, General Counsel & Attorney at Law, Minespider   Slides
  • Question and Answer #1
  • Session 2 - Online Digital Platforms
       Moderator: Maria Cecceralli, Chief, Trade Facilitation Section, ECTD/UNECE
    o   Nena Dokuzov, Vice Chair of AGAT, UN/CEFACT Chain Project    Slides
    o   Emanuelle Ganne, Senior Analyst, WTO    Slides
    o   Yoshiharu Akahane, Senior Manager, NTT DATA Corporation    Slides
  • Question and Answer #2
  • Session 3 - Digital Products
       Moderator: Stefano Quintarelli, Chair of AGAT
    o   Pieter Verhagen, Portfolio lead - Self Sovereign Identity, CCI    Slides
    o   Mario Vojvoda, CIO, Tolar Hashnet    Slides
    o   Jaroslaw Ponder, ITU Representative for Europe / Head of Europe Office ITU    Slides
  • Question and Answer #3
  • Closing


"Report on the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on international trade and logistics and the ways advanced technologies can help overcome such disruptions" - ECE/AGAT/2020/INF.5