Digital Commerce Online Course

Capacity-building for multilateral digital commerce-related negotiations and discussions

About the Training

This course aims to assist permanent missions and international organisations in Geneva to increase their knowledge and capacity to engage in multilateral digital commerce-related negotiations and discussions. The course is aimed particularly at participants from developing and least developed countries (LDCs), based in Geneva. It provides an interdisciplinary coverage of e-commerce, from both digital and trade perspectives. The course is delivered by and DiploFoundation, the International Trade Centre (ITC), CUTS International, Geneva, and the Geneva Internet Platform (GIP). It is supported by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and funded by the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office.


The issues covered in the course include:

  • Internet functionality and online business models
  • Economic policy issues of relevance for digital commerce: taxation; e-payments; Blockchain, virtual currencies and Bitcoin in online transactions; competition; consumer protection; authentication; digital signatures
  • Regional trade agreements
  • International trade negotiations and multilateral discussions at the WTO
  • Digital commerce and Internet governance: cybersecurity; privacy and data protection; cross-border data transfers; data localisation
  • Emerging digital commerce issues: Internet of things, big data, artificial intelligence and 3D printing


The course will benefit diplomats who follow digital trade negotiations on the multilateral and bilateral levels. While improving their knowledge of e-commerce, participants will also gain the practical skills and information required to discuss specific digital policy aspects, such as cross-border data flows, data localisation, cybersecurity, consumer protection and the implication of emerging technologies to digital trade, such as the Internet of Things and 3D printing. The course focuses in particular on digital trade negotiations and policy processes taking place in International Geneva.

The course will be of interest to diplomats and professionals from developing countries and LDCs based in Geneva. Priority will be given to applicants with previous professional or academic experience in digital commerce, and efforts will be made to ensure regional and gender balance.


The course will run from 29 January to 7 March 2018, using a blended learning technique combining a dynamic exchange in an online classroom with lunchtime learning sessions at the Geneva Internet Platform.

Throughout each course week, participants will interact in the online classroom. The weekly discussion will continue during group meetings scheduled for 13.00 to 14.00 each Wednesday. During the informal sandwich lunch, the course faculty will clarify pending issues from the week’s online interaction, and discuss ongoing policy processes with participants. The first face-to-face meeting, an introductory/orientation meeting, is scheduled for Wednesday, 29 January.

Participants who complete the course successfully will receive a course certificate issued by the partner institutions.

Course fee

Selected applicants from developing countries and LDCs will be granted a full scholarship to attend this course.

How to apply

For more information and to apply, visit The application deadline is 15 January 2018.

Key features


Developing and Least Developed Counry (LDC) stakeholders are better able to engage in multilateral digital commerce-related negotiations and discussions.


29 January – 7 March 2018



International Trade Center (ITC)

Geneva Internet Platform (GIP)




docCourse Flyer - 2018

docCourse Flyer - 2017