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Wednesday, December 20 • 11:50 - 13:20
A missed link on trade negotiations, multilingualism and multiculturalism in a digital era. (WS203)

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Proposer's Name: Mr. Gonzalo Navarro
Proposer's Organization: Asociación Latinoamericana de Internet (ALAI)
Co-Proposer's Name: Ms. Adela Goberna
Co-Proposer's Organization: Asociación Latinoamericana de Internet (ALAI)
Ms., Carolina, AGUERRE, Academia, Centro de Tecnología y Sociedad - CETyS- (University of San Andrés)
Ms., Adela, GOBERNA, Private Sector, Asociación Latinoamericana de Internet - ALAI -
Mr., Gonzalo, NAVARRO, Private Sector, Asociación Latinoamericana de Internet - ALAI -

Session Format: Round Table - 90 Min

Country: Chile
Stakeholder Group: Private Sector

Country: Uruguay
Stakeholder Group: Private Sector

Speaker: Andrew Harris
Speaker: Marietje Schaake
Speaker: Paulina Nazal
Speaker: Carlos Correa
Speaker: Maciel Marília
Speaker: Kati Suominen

Content of the Session:
As the digitalization of the economy advances firmly and steadily in many fronts, where online services and products are shaking a wide range of traditional economic areas and sectors, it seems also to be unquestionable the increasing connection that exists between this phenomena and transnational trade.

Only during this year will we expect to see several regional and global processes where the symbiosis of trade, the digital economy, and the Internet will play a key role, such as; the new WTO negotiation round (Buenos Aires, December 2017); the efforts deployed by several Latin American countries promoting the Pacific Alliance as a regional trade area, the recently announced revision of the NAFTA treaty or the possible continuation of the TPP saga. And these are just a handful of examples of a trend that surely will have a profound impact in the way we understand trade in a digital era.

At the same time, language is a powerful tool. It is not only a cultural manifestation but it also reflects how societies are established and how they evolve and develop over the time. However, the importance of a multilingual approach on trade negotiations is often underestimated and reduced to the use of the English language (or other predominant languages) as an entry barrier, not considering also its cultural dimension, in which a clear manifestation is the lack of common understanding on how different legal traditions and institutions around the globe must be harmonized in order to create, at least, minimum standards for the negotiations.

Now, these considerations are even more urgent in our digital era in which Internet plays and it will play a key role in ongoing and future trade negotiations, where also a large number of technical issues and concepts that should be understood also in their own linguistic and cultural dimensions, will have to be reconciled with traditional sectors and areas of negotiations, in order to secure a balanced implementation of basic principles that have nurtured the development of the Internet over the last years, such as: net neutrality, free flow of information, common intermediary liability rules; the avoidance of forced data localization rules, the irruption of electronic commerce rules, etc.

Therefore, this workshop will seek to explore how these and others Internet principles and rules should be calibrated, from a linguistic and legal cultural angle on trade negotiations, taking the examples of what we have learnt from process like the proliferation and later implementation of Bilateral and Multilateral Trade Agreements experienced over the past two decades, in an effort to find common grounds of understanding of the impact for ongoing and future trade negotiations.

Issues: Multiligualism, Internet regulation, cross-border exchange, trade, Internet development, Internet economy.

Intended agenda:

Introduction: 2 minutes introduction delivered by the in-presence moderator, who will briefly introduce the topic and the debates around this area.

First round of key speakers: 3-4 minutes max. per key speaker, six speakers. As the idea of this roundtable is to make the audience participants, each key speaker will count with 5 minutes to introduce their perspectives on the topic. The presentations will be short but concise, what will allow a better understanding of each speaker opinions on the subject. After this first round, 2 minutes will be granted to the speakers, in case they want to reply any of their colleagues speakers.(Total time: 26 minutes).

Moderator will open the floor for comments/questions

First round of opentable: 3-4 minutes max. per participant (total time allocated: 17 minutes). The microphone will be open to other intervention delivered by the participants. After one in-presence participant speech or question, the in-presence moderator will ask the remote moderator if any remote participant would like to post a question or comment.

Moderator will announce when first opentable is over and deliver the microphone to the next key speaker.

Second round of key speakers: 3-4 minutes max. per key speaker, six speakers. Same dynamic as in the first round will be applied (Total time: 26 minutes)

Moderator will open the floor for comments/questions.

Second round of opentable: 3-4 minutes max. per participant. Same dynamic as in the second round will be applied (Total time: 17 minutes)

Moderator will announce when second opentable is over

Final remarks: the moderator will close the table, by reading some final remarks, stating all the positions argued during the workshop (total time: 2 minutes)

Total time distribution:
Introduction: 2 minutes
Total time speakers: 52 minutes (divided into two rounds of 26 minutes each).
Total time participants (remote and in person): 34 minutes (divided into two rounds of 17 minutes each).
Closing: 2 minutes
Total time: 90 minutes.

Relevance of the Session:
This workshop helds a vital importance, as it will seek to bring to the table the ongoing discussion in many countries and sectors: how can trade boost the progress of the digital economy and of local content, seen as a key element that can produce great benefit and empower communities, allowing a broader access to knowledge and tools for development. Moreover, this workshop will address how trade can generate policies that enhances and fosters understanding on how the multilingualism and how cross-border exchange can be a key element to promote local content. 

Tag 1: Internet Economy
Tag 2: Multilingualism and Local Content
Tag 3: 

Marietje Schaake is a Dutch politician and Member of the European Parliament (MEP) from the Netherlands. She is a member of Democrats 66, part of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Party. Ms. Schaake is deeply involved with digital issues within the European Union, connecting these issues with international trade. This makes Ms. Schaake a key speaker for our panel, since she will provide the input not only of the government, but also how digital issues and trade are combined, also focusing in language, a barrier that the European Parliament effectively tackled.

Paulina Nazal is the General Director of International Economic Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Chile. Ms. Nazal is a leading expert in the chilean government regarding trade, where Chile is playing a major role in promoting trade spaces such as the Pacific Alliance. Therefore, these two elements makes Ms. Nazal of great value for sharing her perspectives regarding trade.

Carlos M. Correa is Director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies on Industrial Property and Economics and of the Post-graduate Course on Intellectual Property at the Law Faculty, University of Buenos Aires and professor of the Master Program on Science and Technology Policy and Management of the same university. He is Special Advisor on Trade and Intellectual Property of the South Centre and has been a visiting professor in post-graduate courses of several universities and consultant to UNCTAD, UNIDO, UNDP, WHO, FAO, IDB, INTAL, World Bank, SELA, ECLA, UNDP, and other regional and international organizations. Mr. Correa’s vast experience in international trade spaces will definitely add key elements that are vital for trade negotiations.

Marilia Maciel, works as Digital Policy Senior Researcher at DiploFoundation. Previously, she was a researcher and coordinator of the Center for Technology and Society of the Getulio Vargas Foundation (CTS/FGV) in Rio de Janeiro. Ms. Maciel counts with a deep understanding of the Internet ecosystem, counting with knowledge in such precise issues such as language, trade and other main areas that make the core of this workshop. Therefore, we believe Ms. Maciel will bring to the table the perspective of the civil society, helping to build a more comprehensive result of this workshop.

Kati Suominen is founder and CEO of the Nextrade Group and also serves as founder and CEO of TradeUp, a new crowd investment platform for export-driven small and mid-size companies, as Founder of U.S. Export Capital, and aspiring fund for SME exporters. Mr. Suominen counts with a vast experience regarding in international trade and regional integration. She chairs a 25-member global expert commission on regional trade agreements for the E15 Initiative of the International Center for Trade and Sustainable Development and the World Economic Forum, among other things. We believe that due to Ms. Suominen experience, she will be able to share a unique perspective and provide useful insights as to have a better understanding of these


Session Organizers
avatar for Adela Goberna

Adela Goberna

Policy Advisor, Asociación Latinoamericana de Internet (ALAI)

Wednesday December 20, 2017 11:50 - 13:20
Room XXI - E United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG)

Attendees (53)