Internationalisation Monitor 2023, third edition – Digitalisation

In this edition, the focus is on the relationship between digitisation and international trade, with attention given to the composition of digital trade and the companies involved, as well as the connection with robotics, productivity, and employment.

In a digital world where imports and exports are just one click away, the boundaries of traditional trade are blurring. The embrace of digital technologies is transforming not only what we trade, but also how we trade and who is involved. Web shops and e-commerce platforms enable firms to claim a new role in international value chains. Consumers can easily access international markets through those digital platforms. It is obvious that digitalisation not only impacts trade; it also permeates all layers of daily life. It affects how we communicate with each other, how we absorb knowledge, how we make purchases, and how we have fun. Digitalisation makes us more interconnected than ever. This presents many opportunities. However, the digital revolution also raises questions.

In this Internationalisation Monitor, we analyse digitalisation and international trade from a number of different perspectives. First, we define digital trade, present relevant figures available at CBS, and provide an overview of existing research related to digitalisation and trade from different angles. While Chapter 2 looks at the size and business characteristics of digital trade, Chapter 3 examines the relationship between digitalisation and exports, productivity and employment by looking at various ICT applications. Finally, Chapter 4 zooms in specifically on the use of robotics in relation to business characteristics, value chains, and employment.

The Internationalisation Monitor describes trends in internationalisation and their consequences for the Dutch economy and society. It is published three times per year as part of CBS’ Globalisation development and publication programme, which is commissioned by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The aim of the research programme on Globalisation is to arrive at new insights in the field of globalisation in order to contribute to practices, policymaking and science. At the core of this approach is the integration of a wide range of sources and already available microdata, combined with the application of advanced statistical methods such as I/O analysis. The ensuing results, i.e. newly developed statistics and accompanying analyses, are published in the Internationalisation Monitor.