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8 - Unblocking the Trade Pipes

Using Blockchain Technology to Facilitate Trade for Sustainable Development

from Part III - Bottom-Up: Private Sector and Civil Society Initiatives on the Sustainable Development Goals

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  18 September 2020

Cosimo Beverelli
Affiliation:
World Trade Organization
Jürgen Kurtz
Affiliation:
European University Institute, Florence
Damian Raess
Affiliation:
World Trade Institute, University of Bern
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Summary

The emergence of blockchain technology has the potential to disrupt nearly anything from voting to healthcare, but could it help deliver the Sustainable Development Goals? International trade has been identified as an instrument in achieving these goals but in practice bottlenecks and trade frictions persist. This chapter aims to illuminate how blockchain technology can smooth three stubborn trade frictions: trade finance gaps, low preference utilisation, and customs frictions. We detail the channels through which blockchain technology can smooth these trade frictions. We then estimate the magnitude of potential economic effects and consider their contributions to these goals. We also discuss how policymakers can create an ecosystem to facilitate these advancements in trade and sustainable development.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2020

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