Benefits of trade liberalisation

Trade and Innovation


Innovation and technological progress are key determinants of economic growth. Innovation can also help address major global challenges such as climate change, energy, security and health, by boosting income and productivity growth, which are key to fighting poverty and other social ills. By strengthening innovation capacity, countries, regions, cities and firms can become more competitive and better prepared to face the challenges of globalisation.


There is today a great interest in understanding how governments can promote innovation and the benefits it brings, as evidenced by the discussions at the OECD Ministerial Council Meeting in 2007. At the meeting, the OECD was mandated to develop an OECD Innovation Strategy, drawing on relevant work in several policy domains, including in the area of trade policy.


To gain a better understanding of how exactly trade and investment patterns and policies affect innovation capacity, and interact with other key policies influencing innovation performance, the Trade Committee has undertaken a “Trade and Innovation Project”. In the framework of this project, Members decided to:

  • Organise a Global Forum on Trade, Innovation and Growth (15-16 October 2007) to promote a dialogue between OECD and non-OECD economies on the issue of trade, innovation and growth – or how trade and open markets affect the innovation process and how trade policy can be used to help provide the right framework conditions for innovation.
  • Consider the issue of technology transfer and developing countries, particularly in light of the strengthening of protection for intellectual property rights in recent decades. This work constitutes a continuation of OECD research on the development implications of intellectual property rights including, for example, such dimensions as international licensing.



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