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Swiss-Chinese Law Association invited to participate in the World Trade Organization Public Summit 2019

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Picture of TIANZE ZHANG

From October 8 to 11, 2019, Swiss-Chinese Law Association was invited to participate in the World Trade Organization Public Summit 2019. As a result, it took part in several sessions to discuss international trade, Sino-US relations, and Swiss-Chinese cooperation with the participants.

Ms. Huan Zhu, the Associate Researcher of Cato Institute, showed us the change of China with her personal experience. “When I was a child, China was still using sugar stamps. Because my family had a sweet tooth, there were always not enough sugar stamps in our house. That’s when my mom’s friends would say, ‘We have some sugar stamps that we can’t use up, so take them.’ So maybe my parents raised me with these candy stamps. But then, within a few years, my mom was able to buy chocolate and candy from the store with cash. Many years later, I could still buy chocolates imported from Switzerland. This example is an excellent way to show the journey of China’s economy from planning to opening up.”

Mr. Simon Padilla, Economic Affairs Officer at the World Trade Organization, believes that e-commerce is changing the landscape of international trade, “I think the WTO provides a great venue to discuss these new things, such as e-commerce. A lot of trade is now made electronically. Things like food, plants, and even animal products can be purchased through online shopping.”

Mr. Lawrence Kay, the Senior Policy Analyst at Open data institute, described the importance of open data and its application in practice: “If the data or data sets are used wisely, then we can do more with data sets from different sources.” This is the optimal combination technique, which allows us to analyze data from more sources simultaneously, such as travel and medical data, a combination that we could not do before. Using this approach, we can solve a lot of problems and do precious medical research.”

Mr. Jens Munch, Head of International Trade and Supply Chain of IOTA Foundation, introduced us to the application of blockchain technology in international trade, “Most trade still requires paper documents, and all transfers and certifications are done through paper documents. If paperless trade could be achieved, we would save a significant amount of money, about 5% of GPD. The savings could even offset the political issues and the loss of GDP due to tariff barriers. In addition, blockchain or distributed ledger technology can help ensure the authenticity of documents. For example, if commercial instruments are uploaded to the ledger, then counterparties will be able to ensure the authenticity of these documents and then pick them up.”

Interview: Kang Xi

Edited by Ying Guo

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