UNOSSC Session at the 2021 WTO Aid-for-Trade Stocktaking Event: Role of SSC and Digital Technology Post-COVID-19 for Trade Facilitation, 24 March 2021

March 12, 2021
  • When: 24 March 2021, 17.00 – 18.30 PM, (CET) / 12:00PM – 1:30PM (New York Time)

On 24 March 2021, the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC) held a session at the virtual Aid-for-Trade Stocktaking Event, organized by the World Trade Organization (WTO) from 23-25 March 2021. Titled ‘The Role of South-South Cooperation and Digital Technology in Structuring a Globally Inclusive Post-COVID-19 Economic Architecture for Increased Trade Facilitation,’ the session was held via Zoom and counted with technical support by the China Association of Trade in Services. Four new UNOSSC publications were launched with presentations from their respective authors.

Also available on BiliBili.


The role of digitalization has become critical within the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. While digitalization was embedded in many domains prior to the pandemic, the latter created what is known as ‘new normal’ conditions characterized by reduced physical contact and restricted movement. These changes rapidly increased the digitalization of transactions between and among people, pushing a new scope of tradable goods and services and fostering new areas of mutual cooperation among Southern economies, both technologically and financially. As such, the gradually increasing share of South-South trade over the last few decades and its resilience in the face of COVID-linked disruption call for a thorough theoretical and empirical understanding of the nature and implications of South-South trade in building back better in a post-COVID-19 world.

The discussions in this session aim to tackle the following areas a) South-South cooperation and digitalization in trade and investment; b) South-South cooperation modalities and instruments for accelerating regional trade integration and for creating a more balanced international trade regime; c) South-South cooperation and financial technology in a globally inclusive economic architecture; and d) Challenges and prospects in the context of sustainable recovery.


Chair/Moderator: Dr. Hany Besada, Senior Research/Programme Advisor, UNOSSC

 1. Opening Remarks

  • Dr. Adel Abdellatif, Director a.i., UNOSSC

2. Speakers (and launch of South-South Ideas Series)

3. Closing Remarks

  • Dr. Xiaojun Grace Wang, Deputy Director for Programme and Operations, UNOSSC

Follow-up to the event

Soft launch of other publications following the event, in video interview format:

The below UNOSSC publications will be mentioned at the closing section of the event, announcing their upcoming launch through a series of video interviews with the authors and readers.

  • South-South Global Thinkers Scoping Paper: South-South Cooperation and Investment in Africa: Implications of the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement, Authored by: Dr. Hany Besada, Senior Research and Program Advisor, UNOSSC
  • Trade and Investment Capacity Building through South-South Cooperation: Lessons from Supporting Indian Trade and Investment for Africa, Authored by: Ms. Vandana Prakash Nair, Consultant, International Trade Centre 
  • From Trilemma to Triple Wins: Creating Synergies among Chinese Labour-intensive Manufacturers, Global Buyers and Low-wage Southern Countries, Authored by: Professors Wen Chen, Jiajun Xu and Jia Yu, Institute of New Structural Economics, Peking University
  • The Link Between Trade and Inequality: A Review of the Literature and Emerging Research Agenda from the Perspective of South-South Cooperation, Authored by: Professor Milindo Chakrabarti, Research Information System for Developing Countries