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16 October to 26 November 2023 | Open meeting

Online, Thursday 16:00-17:00 (UTC +7)

The online course is organized by the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (UN-ECLAC), the UN Economic Commission and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN- ESCAP), and the European University Institute (EUI), with the support of a project by the Forum for East Asia-Latin America Cooperation (FEALAC).

Course description

This interdisciplinary course is designed for policymakers and researchers who want to develop a critical understanding of global digital trade regulations. The rise of digital trade, which covers trade in digital goods and online services, foreign direct investment in sectors relevant to the digital economy, and data movement, is a new reality that our economies are adjusting to. New digital technologies, such as 3D printing, big data, cloud computing, artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, and autonomous driving are creating new services and ways of working, which impact citizens, businesses, and governments. Regulating the digital revolution is proving exceptionally challenging, also given the pace at which it is evolving.

On the one hand, policymakers are applying policies designed for an ‘offline’ world to the new online world. On the other hand, they are designing policies to consider broad economic and non-economic concerns, including public security, law enforcement, national security, privacy, consumer protection, and free speech. The course will shed light on this topic by introducing the concept of digital trade and its regulations, highlighting the importance of informed policy-making decisions, including in the context of the recent negotiations of trade agreements.

Learning outcomes

  • Have knowledge and the ability to describe digitaltrade and related regulations;
  • Identify critical challenges related to theapplication of traditional trade policy to digitaltrade;
  • Reflect on the implications of digital traderegulations on the economy and essential rightssuch as privacy and freedom of expression;
  • Interpret and critique the political economy forcesbehind digital trade regulations by looking atdifferent national and regional contexts.

Target audience

This introductory course is for professionals from the public sector, firms, NGOs, universities, and think tanks with little prior knowledge or experience in digital trade regulations, policy making, and research. The live sessions will be in English for participants from the Asia-Pacific region and in Spanish for participants from Latin America. For more information about Latin America session, please visit this webpage:… 

Timeframe and course diploma

The course takes place from October 16th to November 26th. 

The online meetings take place each Thursday at 4 PM (UTC+7, Bangkok time). The course platform remains open until December 10th, so participants can complete the assignments to obtain their diploma. To obtain the course diploma, the participant requires a score of 70% correct answers for each of the six quizzes.


For Asia-Pacific session, the applicants are required to complete their registration HERE by October 12th. Applications received after this date will not be considered in the selection process.

*Please note that Asia-Pacific and Latin America sessions use different registration forms.


Module 1: 

  • Introduction to digital trade: definitions, components, and global statistics; 
  • Introduction to digital trade regulations: main sources, assessment of regulations, global trends; 

Module 2: Digital trade policies related to ICT goods: overview and assessment.

Module 3: Digital trade policies related to online services: overview and assessment.

Module 4: Digital trade policies related to data flows: overview and assessment.

Module 5: Informing policy-making: empirical research on digital trade.

Module 6: Digital trade regulations in the context of trade agreements.


For more information about this course, please see course description in the document tab.

Instructor and academic coordination

Ms. Martina F. Ferracane
Research Fellow, Robert Schuman Center of Advanced Studies, European University Institute
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Dr. Martina F. Ferracane is a Research Fellow at the Robert Schuman Center of Advanced Studies of the European University Institute, where she manages the Digital Trade Integration Project.

She is a regular consultant for several institutions including the United Nations, the World Economic Forum, and the World Bank.

Course coordinators

Dr. Witada Anukoonwattaka - Course coordinator for Asia-Pacific
Economic Affairs Officer, Trade, Investment and Innovation Division, UN-ESCAP
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Dr. Nanno Mulder - Course coordinator for Latin America
Head, International Trade Unit, UN-ECLAC
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for more information, please contact

Trade, Investment and Innovation Division +66 2 288-1234 [email protected]
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