Alan Elias of eBay’s Public Policy Lab participated in an Industry 4.0 panel discussion at the Global Forum 2017 in Winnipeg, Canada. The focus of this year’s event was Digitization: Intelligent Pathways, and brought together a diverse set of speakers from government, industry and academia. The panel on which Alan participated examined the impact of digitization on organization, work, skills, global supply chains, manufacturing, and connecting micro enterprises to the global economy. Representatives from the Canadian Information and Communications Technology Council, Danish Technological Institute, Australian Catholic University and The George Washington University also appeared on the panel.
Alan provided a brief explanation of the traditional trade model the world has known for well over one hundred years and how the Internet, and specifically platforms, has given rise to a new model of trade that is connecting independent micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) to customers around the world. This “platform-based” model of trade, combines the Internet, commerce platforms, payments platforms, and logistics platforms and eBay refers to this as the Global Empowerment Network. Alan discussed how the eBay Public Policy Lab’s in-depth research has revealed that nearly every MSME accessing the Global Empowerment Network via eBay is an exporter and they are exporting to numerous markets across multiple continents. They are also growing at rates that exceed national averages overall. This proves to be a more inclusive model because the trade and growth figures are similar for MSMEs across advanced and developing economies, and stands in stark contrast to traditional MSMEs, of which almost none are engaged in trade.
The Global Forum/Shaping the Future is an internationally recognized think-tank for exchange and networking among governments at national, regional & local levels, private & public organizations, research & development experts. The Global Forum is an independent, high profile, international, non-for-profit event dedicated to business and policy issues affecting the successful evolution of the Digital Society. The Global Forum brings each year in a different city around the world more than 300 key policy-makers and public/private stakeholders from more than 30 countries from all continents.