The new training programme is part of UNITAR’s comprehensive Digital Finance Initiative, which aims at supporting training for emerging innovations in trade and finance


11 May 2021, Geneva, Switzerland - UNITAR launched its comprehensive Digital Finance Initiative, beginning with a recently held virtual conference on Digital Finance. This initiative aims to offer training for government bodies and policymakers for harnessing digital technologies for sustainable development.

The programme is titled Systemic Trends in Cross-Border Trade and Finance: Opportunities and Risks of the Digitalisation Challenge. This programme covers various topics under the broad field of digitalisation and recognizes that the move towards digital forms of finance and trade can have a significant impact on sustainable development.

The programme will cover a wide array of topics, including the evolution of digitalisation and the different approaches it entails. Digitalisation is put in a historical context from its modest beginnings as a by-product of production processes to its current ubiquity. Then participants will learn about cross-border trade perspectives beyond globalisation and dematerialisation which will then be used to analyse trends in the international trade system. Next the financial factor is considered, given the mercurial performance of virtual moneys while a return to the gold standard is promoted by some key major powers. Finally, the course will delve into the much-debated queries of financial concentration, the importance of data privacy, innovation appropriation and dissemination, the costs of convergence of national socioeconomic policies towards deeper international cooperation and coordination, and the like.

The course aims to train participants to better understand the digital economy and to articulate its current role in the world economy. Participants will be equipped to understand and predict new trends in the digital trade economy, navigate through new rules and policies that may be brought about by the digitilisation of the global market, identify key new actors that can play a role in shaping the digital trade landscape, and predict possible challenges in a digitalized world.

As part of UNITAR’s Digital Finance Initiative, the course aims to reach a wide group of participants and trainees. Training will be offered online, with asynchronous options, which allows for flexibility in the pace of learning for participants. This allows them to accomplish tasks through the learning platform based on their own personal and professional schedules. The programme will also include opportunities for peer-to-peer discussions involving various case studies, as well as feedback from experts and thought leaders in the field of digital finance. 

The course will run from 30 August 2021 to 1October 2021. 

Systemic Trends in Cross-Border Trade and Finance: Opportunities and Risks of the Digitalisation Challenge
Course starting date: August 30 to October 1, 2021 (6 weeks, fully delivered online, Expert-moderated)
Course information and registration:

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