Facilitating Trade in the Digital Economy

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  • Location: Geneva, Switzerland
  • Date: 08/04/2014 - 09/04/2014
  • Event Type: Conference
  • Language: English

The conference will feature interactive workshops and panel discussions on how to facilitate paperless interaction between business and government.

This conference will provide an opportunity for business and public administration practitioners to engage in a constructive dialogue on the regulatory and practical issues that arise when paper-based trade and administrative processes are replaced with ICT-facilitated interactions.

Topics to be discussed

Country-specific examples [e.g. from the Asia-Pacific (APEC region), BRICS (Brazil, Russian, India, China and South Africa), European Union and the Americas] of regulation and mandatory administrative interfaces for tax, customs, public procurement and other areas.

  • Options for regulated or government-operated preauthorization systems
  • Compulsory agreements between market players
  • Localization and related requirements
  • Authentication mechanisms, ID Management and security
  • How current practices influence business global data integration strategies worldwide.

Who should attend?

  • Business trade, finance, supply chain, logistics, tax and legal practitioners
  • Government regulators
  • Representatives from State-operated or regulated administrative reporting or clearance service
  • Policy makers
  • Representatives of civil society
  • Academics

Related reading

Tuesday 8 April 2014

08.15-09.15 Registration and welcome coffee

09.15-10.00 Welcome address

    10.00-11.00 Plenary 1: Setting the stage - making paperless trade work

    Governments worldwide use ICT in an attempt to work more effectively, in particular with business. Regulations and processes, however, tend to vary among (and often even within) countries, meaning that the gap between the ways different countries approach electronic trade procedures and e-government is widening. This comes with its own set of challenges and results in many different - and often conflicting - approaches to the ways businesses and governments interact electronically. Inefficient and confusing e-trade and e-customs procedures can have negative effects on trade flows at both the national and corporate level.

    This session will address how business and governments could improve collaboration and coordination to optimize paperless trade and e-government activities worldwide.

    11.00-11.30 Coffee break

    11.30-13.00 Plenary 2: How electronic customs, tax and public procurement frameworks are working today (government perspectives)

    Paperless trade could potentially save governments and companies millions of dollars each year and, at the same time, increase the security of transactions, and contribute to economic growth and social development. Supportive policies promoted by governments - as regulators and very large market players - can make a big difference to trade flows.

    13.00-14.15 Networking lunch

    14.15-15.45 Plenary 3: Business experiences with paperless trade and evolving regulatory frameworks

    Business has much to gain from the simplification and harmonization of paperless trade processes. In this plenary, panelists from leading companies and business organizations will describe their strategies for optimizing the use of ICTs and will offer their perspectives on how these strategies are enhanced by evolving regulatory approaches in areas such as e-customs, e-taxation and e-procurement.

    15.45-16.15 Coffee break

    16.15-17.45 Plenary 4: How can we bring business and government together?

    This plenary will showcase examples of successful cooperation between government regulators and business while also reflecting on the negative consequences of not addressing the remaining challenges together.

    It will provide an understanding of some of the key issues at stake in preparation for the interactive workshops the following day, where panelists will debate the benefits and downsides, and encourage the audience to share ideas and best practices.

    17.45-19.45 Cocktail reception

    Wednesday 9 April 2014

    09.30-11.00 Workshop 1: The value of electronic customs systems

    This workshop will highlight the benefits of using secure, integrated, interoperable and accessible electronic customs systems. Electronic customs clearance systems serving a multitude of other functions (e.g. declarations to health and other regulatory authorities) through the operation of the Single Window concept will be discussed and attention will be given to the implementation of the European Union’s mandatory electronic customs clearance procedure as well as similar examples from around the world.
    The workshop provides an opportunity for concrete exchange between governments, business and other key players for tackling the stumbling blocks related to e-customs.

    11.00-11.30 Coffee break

    11.30-13.00 Workshop 2: Electronic taxation: considerations and best practice

    This workshop aims to identify the challenges and opportunities for businesses and governments when ICT is used for tax reporting, collection and audit. It will provide a unique opportunity for governments, business and other key players to exchange ideas on how to tackle the challenges related to e-tax and explore feasible solutions.

    13.00-14.30 Networking lunch

    14.30-16.00 Workshop 3: Electronic public procurement initiatives: challenges and solutions

    The legal framework for electronic public procurement has been introduced by legislation internationally, regionally and domestically; reverse electronic auctions, dynamic purchasing systems and other innovations are in place. However, electronic procurement still remains marginal in most countries compared with the total volumes of public procurement.

    This workshop aims to identify the benefits of using secure, integrated, interoperable and accessible electronic public procurement initiatives. Governments, business and other key players will tackle, through real life scenarios, the challenges related to e-public procurement and explore feasible solutions. The fragmentation of information systems for electronic procurement has proved to be a particular obstacle to further progress. Nevertheless, some countries have been successful in advancing electronic public procurement.

    16.00-16.45 Summary and concluding remarks


    Mutlu Akin, Head of Audit and Compliance Management Department, Turkish Revenue Administration, Ministry of Finance, Turkey

    Joseph Alhadeff, Vice President of Global Public Policy, Chief Privacy Officer, Oracle Corporation, United States; Chair, ICC Commission on the Digital Economy

    Mario Apostolov, Regional Adviser, United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), Geneva

    Jacques Beglinger, Executive Committee of SwissHoldings, Federation of Industrial and Service Groups in Switzerland; ICC Commission on the Digital Economy

    John Bescec, Director, Global Trade Policy and Standards, Microsoft, Canada

    Charles Bryant, Public Policy Advisor, OB10, United Kingdom; Co-Chairman, European e-Invoicing Service Providers Association

    Jean-Guy Carrier, Secretary General, International Chamber of Commerce, Paris

    Robin Cartwright, Partner, KPMG, United Kingdom

    Christophe Coulie, Legal Affairs Manager, Federation of Belgian Chambers of Commerce, Belgium

    Alexandre Fasel, Permanent Representative of Switzerland to the UN Office and to the other international organizations in Geneva, Switzerland

    Mario A. Fernandez, Chief Executive Officer, Signature South Consulting, Chile

    Joseph Fox, Vice President, Marketing and Strategy, Ariba, United States

    Carlos Grau Tanner, Director General, Global Express Association, Geneva

    Donia Hammami, Policy Manager, ICC Commission on Taxation and ICC Commission on Customs and Trade Facilitation

    Zahid Jamil, Senior Partner, Jamil & Jamil, Pakistan

    Christian Kaeser, Global Head of Taxes, Siemens AG, Germany; Vice-Chair, ICC Commission on Taxation

    Igor Kozlov, Strategic Analyst, Taxcom, Russia

    Brian Lee, Technical Chair, Digital Coding & Tracking Association (DCTA), Zurich

    Hanne Melin Olbe, Policy Strategy Counsel and Head of eBay Inc. Public Policy Lab EMEA, eBay Inc, Sweden

    Alessandro Micheletti, Customs Expert, Italy

    Fabrice Millet, Chief, UNCTAD ASYCUDA Programme, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), Geneva

    Anne Miroux, Director, Division on Technology and Logistics, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), Geneva

    Goncalo Mota Nogueira, Partner, Nobre Guedes, Mota Soares & Associados, Portugal; Attorney-at-Law; Member, ICC Task Force on Public Procurement

    Kaisa Olkkonen, Vice President of Government Relations, Nokia Corporation, Finland; Vice-Chair, ICC Commission on the Digital Economy

    Conor O'Riordan, Director of Stragey, Clearview Trade, Denmark

    César Luis Perales Téllez, Tax Administration Manager, Taxpayer Services, Tax Administration Service (SAT), Mexico

    Lauri Railas, Attorney-at-Law, Krogerus Attorneys Ltd, Finland; Co-chair, ICC Task Force on Public Procurement

    Zahouani Saadaoui, Head of Sector, Electronic Customs, Directorate General for Taxation and Customs Union, European Commission, Brussels

    Peter Schäfer, Senior Adviser, Federation of German Industries (BDI), Germany; Member, ICC Task Force on Public Procurement

    Michael Schöll, Deputy Head, Private Law Division, Federal Office of Justice, Switzerland; Chairman, United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL), Vienna

    Andrea Servida, Head of Task Force, Legislation Team, eIDAS, European Commission, Brussels

    Miguel Solera Guadalajara, Tax Coordinator, E-Audit Central Unit, Antifraud National Office, Spanish Tax Agency, Spain

    Marco Sorgetti, Director General, International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations (FIATA), Zurich

    Christiaan van der Valk, Co-founder and President, TrustWeaver AB, Sweden

    Gaozhang Zhu, Director, Compliance and Facilitation, World Customs Organization, Brussels

    Logistical notes


    8-9 April 2014


    Centre International de Conférences Genève, 17 rue de Varembé, 1211 Geneva, Switzerland

    How to register

    Registration is now closed for this event.

    Travel and accommodation

    Participants are responsible for making their own travel arrangements and hotel reservations. A list of hotels in Geneva, with which ICC has negotiated preferential room rates, will be sent to you upon receipt of the registration form. Please note that the number of rooms reserved with the ICC rate is limited. As they will be distributed on a "first-come, first-served" basis, we recommend that you make your reservation ASAP. All reservations must be guaranteed by a credit card. The pre-reservation cut-off date is 7 March 2014. Hotel reservations received after this date will be accepted on a space available basis at prevailing rates.

    We are able to dispatch visa invitation letters to support your visa application only after receipt of a copy of your passport and flight tickets.

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    The photos and audiovisual recordings taken at this event may be used and published by ICC, its subsidiaries or affiliates, for informational or promotional purposes in printed materials or online, including on ICC websites and in social media. Participation in the event implies agreement to such use of photos or audiovisual recordings in which the participant may appear unless ICC Services receives written notification to the contrary.

    Sponsorship opportunities

    This conference offers you an unrivalled opportunity to build worldwide partnerships. Partnering will get you visibility with the major business and public administration practitioners and with the key decision makers in global business.

    For further information, please read our sponsorship opportunities or contact Ms Rodriguez at: luz.rodriguez@iccwbo.org

    Programme: Constance Weise, Assistant Policy Manager, Email Constance Weise, Tel: +33 1 49 53 33 89

    Logistics: Emma Dannevik, Project Officer, Email Emma Dannevik, Tel: +33 1 49 53 33 96

    Registration issues: Sylvette Abenzoar, Sales Administrator, Email Sylvette Abenzoar, Tel: + 33 1 49 53 28 67

    Sponsorship: Luz Rodriguez, Global Partnerships Manager, Email Luz Rodriguez, Tel: + 33 1 49 53 28 42

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    Facilitating trade in the digital economy conference