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76 nations, regions agree to start talks on e-com rules

29
Jan '19
76 nations, regions agree to start talks on e-com rules
With the 164 World Trade Organisation (WTO) members unable to arrive at a consensus over some 25 separate e-commerce proposals at the body’s biennial conference at Buenos Aires in December, 76 countries and regions recently agreed at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos to start negotiating this year on a set of open and predictable e-commerce regulations.

The participating countries include the United States, Japan and those from the European Union (EU). China, which had resisted joining the talks, reportedly agreed to come on board at the WEF at the last moment, according to global news wires.

China’s ambassador to WTO Zhang Xiangchen said his country decided to join the negotiations out of concern over a broader crisis surrounding the WTO, which has been coming under attack from the US Administration.

“The multilateral trading system is in a deep crisis,” he said. “Against this backdrop, the launching of e-commerce negotiation will in a significant way help reinvigorate the negotiating function of the WTO, and shore up confidence in the multilateral trading system and economic globalisation,” Zhang was quoted as saying.

The WTO stalemate in December disappointed those who hoped for new agreements on regulating e-commerce.

“We will seek to achieve a high-standard outcome that builds on existing WTO agreements and frameworks with the participation of as many WTO members as possible,” members of the coalition said in a joint statement.

“We continue to encourage all WTO members to participate in order to further enhance the benefits of electronic commerce for businesses, consumers and the global economy,” they said. (DS)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India


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