Introduction to digital trade regulations in Asia and Latin America

October 19, 2023 @ 11:00 am – November 23, 2023 @ 12:30 pm Europe/Rome Timezone
Martina Francesca Ferracane
An introductory online course for professionals from the public sector, firms, NGOs, universities, and think-tanks on digital trade regulations

Course description

This interdisciplinary course is designed for policy-makers and researchers who want to develop a critical understanding of digital trade regulations across the globe. 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 one hand, policy-makers 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.

Duration of the course and methodology

The course has six weekly modules with a total of 42 hours of training. Each module (of about seven hours) includes pre-recorded video tutorials, readings, an online meeting, and a final test with multiple-choice questions. Participants can interact with the tutor and other participants through the online discussion forum and live sessions. The course uses the online platform Brightspace.

Assessment methods

To obtain the course diploma, the participant requires a score of 70% correct answers for each of the six quizzes.


The course takes place from 16 October to 26 November . The online meetings take place each Thursday. The course platform remains open until 10 December, so participants can complete the assignments to obtain their diploma.

Learning outcomes. By the end of this course, participants will:

  • Have knowledge and the ability to describe digital trade and related regulations;
  • Identify critical challenges related to the application of traditional trade policy to digital trade;
  • Reflect on the implications of digital trade regulations on the economy and essential rights such as privacy and freedom of expression;
  • Interpret and critique the political economy forces behind digital trade regulations by looking at different national and regional contexts.

This course is co-organised with 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), with the support of the Forum for East Asia – Latin America Cooperation (FEALAC) project.