4 Technologies that will change global trade
The world is changing fast. The growth of the digital economy, changes in international production networks and the speed of transportation are changing the way we conduct foreign trade, making processes more inclusive and efficient. To stay in the market, you need to keep up with these new technologies and trends.
Globalization, transport and communication advancements make technologies and know-how cross borders much faster, increasing the growth and innovation potential of many emerging market companies. According to the International Monetary Fund, “between 2004 and 14, the knowledge flows of technology leaders may have generated, for an average sector of the country, about 0.7% of labor productivity growth per year. This is about 40% of the average productivity growth observed between 2004 and 2014.”
Cryptocurrency and the financial decentralization proposed by blockchain will definitely change the way foreign trade happens as people begin to include this technology in their daily lives. Since it has no central authority, the blockchain is a democratic and transparent system. Learn more about blockchain.
The chain is maintained by the so-called miners. By constantly watching what happens and what is updated on the system, each of them are able to identify and report malware or fraud, making them responsible for each other’s actions. The network can be accessed anywhere on the globe and every information added is copied as in a chain reaction so that it can no longer be edited. All of this global transaction management, tracking, compliance and non editable truth capabilities will surely change the financial transactions as we know.
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning will automate all processes involved in international logistics, as is already the case in other sectors in developed countries such as medicine.
AI will be able to manage vessel and truck traffic at ports, track shipping worldwide, translate ecommerce search queries from one language to another, and respond with translated inventory, for example; The possibilities are endless. In short, this technology will streamline and optimize shipping routes and the entire system will be less prominent to error.
There is still a lot of debate regarding the real impact 3D printing will have in international trade. Maybe in the short term, the impact would be close to none, since the reality of mass manufacturing is rather complex. But in a few decades, when 3D printing becomes cheap, faster its mass adoption would decrease 25% in the global trade according to studies.
An increasing number of people worldwide is using mobile payments systems such as Alipay in their daily life. World Bank Global Inclusion Database affirms that the access to bank accounts increased by 20% between 2011 and 2014 thanks to mobile phones, especially in emerging economies. Soon enough, companies will start using these systems for their international purchases as well.
We can also mention technologies such as Optical Character Recognition (OCR), used to read container numbers, Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) and QR codes to identify and trace shipments in the improvement of reliability and efficiency of global trade. From basic digitization of trade documents to the technologies cited above will make the opportunities of innovation in international trade endless and many challenges will be overcome.
These innovations will most likely develop faster than the regulations for the industry. In terms of agreements and regulations, the International Chamber of Commerce have been keeping an eye on the changes to adjust incoterms for example, but industries and governments also need to start accepting the big impact of technology and start thinking about options to regulate this market. Some national governments are already responding to this transformations, working on increasing the benefits and to mitigate adverse effects.
“As with every technology and solution, there will be bad actors who deliberately try to cheat or find some way to circumvent the system. Governments need to reward individuals and companies that participate and use the systems as intended and, conversely, need to react swiftly and harshly to those that seek to circumvent the system. “ says David Mounts to Forbes.
The World Trade Report 2018 also points out to some downsides of the technology on world commerce. As said in the report: “while technological advance and trade-opening continue to yield enormous benefits for economies overall, they can also adversely affect specific groups and regions – a problem which a number of countries are currently struggling to address”.