On September 25, 2017, it was announced that the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Brasil will manage a World Trade Organization (WTO) Public Forum that will give rise to the "Intelligent Tech & Trade Initiative (ITTI)."
The "Building an Intelligent Tech & Trade Initiative: Augmented Intelligence & the Future of Global Trade" forum will take place on Wednesday, September 27, from 11:30 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. CET, at WTO Headquarters in Geneva. Gathered at the forum will be participants from ICC, IBM, Gearbulk, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, and Columbia University. ITTI's goal will be to engage the community in meaningful discourse that encompasses trade negotiators, business leaders, and scholars, regarding the formation of beneficial trade arrangements. Participants will assess the positive impact that blockchain and cognitive technology platforms have on global trade, according to the announcement.
ITTI was founded by President of ICC Brasil Daniel Feffer, who thinks that trade can be driven forward by the initiative. "Creating ITTI is an essential move that can drive trade beyond existing roadblocks,” Feffer said. “I’m certain blockchain and AI will boost trade growth. These technologies can help both SMEs (small and medium sized enterprises) and Emerging Markets seize a bigger piece of the global trade pie."
Feffer sees the possibilities of blockchain technology as a positive factor for a growing global trade market, provided it is inclusive of both small and large players in that marketplace. He said:
"[Disintermediation], trust and agile market access are made possible by these new technologies. My vision is that very instrumental tools, such as bringing the Letter of Credit to a 21st Century blockchain-intensive marketplace, or modeling negotiation scenarios through AI, will enhance both transactions and trade agreements. But we've got to make sure they are inclusive of companies big and small, countries rich or emerging, so all can benefit from their extraordinary potential."
ITTI is managed by Marcos Troyjo, co-director of BRICLab at Columbia University, SIPA. Troyjo spoke of the benefits that predictive analytics can lend to negotiation efforts. "New technologies out there can help delegations gather and structure information as well as predict different negotiation outcomes," Troyjo explained. "This is a major move forward in leveling the playing field when it comes to trade talks"
ITTI will publish research papers, create an internet-based platform, organize conferences, and facilitate the production of various interviews and documentaries for TV and YouTube that focus on new technology and trade.
Fabio Rua, IBM Latin America Government and Regulatory Affairs director, described the attributes of the technology that ITTI will explore. "The potential of technological adoption is enormous and with this organization we´ll have agility, transparency, security and less bureaucracy at all stages of the process. Countries, citizens, small, medium and large companies win."
A list of speakers at the event is as follows:
“ITTI's session during the WTO Public Forum 2017 will feature as speakers Ambassador John Danilovich (Secretary-General of ICC), Ambassador Álvaro Cedeño, (Permanent Representative of Costa Rica to the WTO), Ambassador Rufus Yerxa (President of the National Foreign Trade Council), Stewart Jeacocke (Leader of IBM's Global Government Centre of Competence), Marion Jansen (Chief-Economist of the International Trade Center), Jan Hoffmann (Director for Trade Facilitation of UNCTAD), Theresa Carpenter (Executive Director of the Center for Trade and Economic Integration, The Graduate Institute, Geneva), Daniel Feffer (President of ICC-Brasil) and Professor Marcos Troyjo (Co-Director of BRICLab, SIPA, Columbia University).”