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EC adopts supplementary mandate for WTO e-com negotiations

May '19
Pic: Shutterstock
Pic: Shutterstock
The European Council has adopted a negotiating mandate to enable European Commission to participate in plurilateral negotiations on e-commerce. The existing mandate for the Doha Development Agenda had to be supplemented to include the EU position on trade-related aspects of e-commerce, so that the Commission can engage in negotiations with its WTO partners.

In January 2019, in the margins of the World Economic Forum in Davos, the European Union and 48 other members of the WTO decided to start negotiations to put in place global rules on e-commerce.

“The digitalisation of our economy has fundamentally changed the way businesses and consumers do trade. It was high time for international rules to reflect this transformation. The EU is committed to working with its WTO partners to put in place an ambitious and pragmatic framework that will guarantee a safe and predictable environment for online trade,” Stefan-Radu Oprea, minister for business environment, trade and entrepreneurship of Romania, said in a European Council press release.

The aim of the negotiations is to put in place international rules encouraging global e-commerce, facilitating the operations of businesses, in particular SMEs, strengthening consumers’ trust in the online environment and creating new opportunities to promote inclusive and sustainable growth and development.

On April 26 this year, the EU tabled initial negotiating proposals in the WTO. These were discussed along with proposals from other participating WTO members during a round of formal discussions from May 13-15 in Geneva.

“The adoption of supplementary negotiating directives is necessary to further frame the position of the European Union in the WTO negotiations on trade-related aspects of e-commerce,” the Council said. (RKS)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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