Our philosophy is to keep an eye on every corner of international trade and increase the resolution of the world. We provide intelligence not only for commercial trade but also for international political information.
Name: WTS Institute
President: LEE DAL-YONG
Established: October 2019
Location: 14-67 Fukakusa-cho, Fushimi-ku, Kyoto
Contact: Click here
Trade 4.0 is a concept that aims to raise the stage of world trade to a new version (4.0) and achieve economic development comparable to that of the Industrial Revolution. The key to this vision is trade data (trade statistics/customs statistics), and the Institute's mission is to promote its use.
The 3 versions of mankind's trade activities
Our association believes that trade activities have already progressed through 3 versions (by looking at the size of the effect on society). Firstly, from approximately 5 centuries ago the "geographical discoveries" of Europeans promoted long distance and inter-continental trade and a rapid development in economics with these European nations at its core. The coming of this "Age of Discovery" marks Version 1.0. Including regrettable events such as colonization and the slave trade, this series of events had an immeasurable effect on the history of mankind. Leaping forward a few centuries to the late 1950's, due to the new use of containers and container ships and the standardization of packages used in international transportation, distribution costs incurred by trade fell dramatically. Furthermore, with the arrival of the gantry crane, cargo handling which had been done manually up to that point became mechanized and trade cargo became bigger, was turned around in a speedier manner, and the whole process became smoother. The coming of this logistics revolution made the sending of labor intensive work to countries with low-cost labor forces (outside of one's own country) a matter of course, and as a result, the method of appointing manufacture all over the world (global supply chain) became the norm. This change in trade and economics due to containerization marks Version 2.0. However 2.0 has given us persisting environmental issues such as exhaust fumes from container ships and trucks used in distribution and congestion and noise in ports. Version 3.0 has also brought about a persisting phenomena, and that is the phenomena of the one free trade area (that we have now) where there are no economic barriers (bloc economies) brought about by the ending of the Cold War. Modern trade blocs that include both former socialist nations and highly-developed emerging nations have brought about an even larger trade creation effect and the expansion of cities. An increase in players has led to further evolution of the global supply chain, logistics without geographical boundaries, and an evening out of the world day by day. However, the wide scale abolition of tariffs and trade barriers by FTAs (Free Trade Agreements) urged a drastic change within each country's domestic industries (*primary and manufacturing industries in particular), and it is well known that this has a become a point of social contention that cannot be ignored in many nations. This is the persistent dilemma of Version 3.0.
The Conditions to realize Version 4.0
In order to realise 4.0, knowledge of trade data (trade statistics) and its application must be spread worldwide. Trade data is data that records the when, where, what, and how much is imported and exported. Even within economic data the amount of this type of data is especially large and the number of data pieces released yearly throughout the world is over 100 million pieces in total (*as estimated by our association.) For private enterprises involved in trade, the application of this data can be used as a weapon to make more advantageous trade transactions and increase profit ratios. (Please refer to our association’s materials for more information). However at present not all of these private enterprises are able to utilize this data as a weapon. Furthermore, it’s not as if all these companies are systematically organizing this information either. Therefore, even out of the companies that attempt to apply this data, there are those companies that don’t have the confidence to identify and analyze the data that they are reaching for because of how complicated it is, etc. (There are more than a few companies who don’t even think about applying trade data in the first place.) For agricultural producers (and other types of primary producers) that are disconnected from trade work and companies from developing nations with lagging informational infrastructure provisions, this information gap becomes even wider. (When you take into account FTA and fair trade issues) this is the case regardless as to whether or not there is a situation where information is needed the most. We believe that it is absolutely necessary to spread the knowledge about how to apply trade data for the sake of agricultural producers, in order them to pick out a path to foreign consumption (international exports), and for the companies of developing nations to conduct trade with more advanced nations under fairer conditions.This is the idea behind our activities at the Institute.