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Saturday, April 06, 2019

Proposed WTO talks to boost e-commerce says Kituyi - ITREALMS


UNCTAD stands ready to work with developing countries to enhance their preparedness to seize the opportunities of e-commerce should they choose to join proposed talks among World Trade Organization (WTO) members, the organization’s Secretary-General Mukhisa Kituyi said on 5 April, reports ITREALMS.

“It is a fact that 76 WTO members have launched plurilateral negotiations on trade-related aspects of e-commerce. However, we must ensure that there is a balanced approach that adequately takes into account the needs and considerations of developing countries,” Dr. Kituyi told delegates at the fifth edition of UNCTAD eCommerce Week in Geneva, Switzerland.

Speaking at a session on the expectations for the proposed WTO negotiations – which have sparked diverging views among countries – the UNCTAD chief observed that although 88 WTO members are reluctant to join the process, it’s too late in the day for them to be stuck on whether or not there will be e-commerce talks at the global trade body at all

"I don’t think anyone should fear to negotiate but nobody should negotiate out of fear," Dr. Kituyi said.

He urged countries to prioritize the sustainable development dimension of e-commerce, adding that its main would-be beneficiaries are in the countries that are outside the negotiations, and that their interests should be at the heart of any path forward on the future of rulemaking in e-commerce.

Participants at the session heard various national perspectives on the proposed plurilateral negotiations under the WTO.

Chuks Egbune/DoP

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