Government publishes research on understanding and measuring cross-border digital trade

The report reviews the evidence base on UK cross-border digital trade and identifies potential improvements to data sources. The research was carried out by Cambridge Econometrics on behalf of the Department for International Trade (DIT) and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). Despite the growing importance of cross-border digital trade, little is known about its nature and scale.

The research is the first attempt in the UK to:

  • discuss in a systematic way the measurement challenges in this area; and
  • compile relevant statistics for the UK and make recommendations for improving these statistics.

More specifically, the report:

  • provides an overview of efforts to define the concept of digital trade, focussing especially on the OECD’s “Handbook on Measuring Digital Trade”;
  • reviews the evidence base on digital trade to identify definitional issues; measurement and methodological challenges; coverage of data on digital trade in official statistics and their associated strengths and weaknesses; and non-conventional methods to estimate the value of digital trade (such as credit card data);
  • identifies possible sources of data on digital trade and compiles relevant statistics for the UK; and
  • identifies data gaps and proposes ways to fill them.

To access the research, click here.