……As Japan Announces $300m for ICT Infrastructure in Developing Countries
Nigeria and some sixty-nine other countries have adopted a joint statement on Electronic Commerce at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) 11th Ministerial Conference of WTO in Buenos Aires, Argentina
Japan also made a commitment of $300m to support Information and Communications Technology (ICT) infrastructure in developing countries, during the meeting on e-commerce
The Joint Statement provides a channel for countries to begin exploratory work e-commerce issues, dealing with both the challenges and opportunities
It also potentially paves the way in future, for negotiations at the WTO on trade matters relating to e-commerce
During the meeting in Buenos Aires, the 70 countries that have adopted the Joint Statement called for other WTO nations to sign up. They promised to be inclusive and transparent in the discussions.
Some of the countries that have adopted the statement are: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Cambodia, Hong Kong, China, Iceland, Israel, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Ukraine, United States of America, Uruguay, New Zealand, Moldova, Liechtenstein, European Union, Colombia, etc
The Joint Statement goes thus:
“We share the goal of advancing electronic commerce work in the WTO in order to better harness these opportunities.
“We recognize the particular opportunities and challenges faced by developing countries, especially LDCs, as well as by micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, in relation to electronic commerce
“We also recognize the important role of the WTO in promoting open, transparent, non-discriminatory and predictable regulatory environments in facilitating electronic commerce
“We, as a group, will initiate exploratory work together toward future WTO negotiations on trade-related aspects of electronic commerce. Participation will be open to all WTO members and will be without prejudice to participants’ position on future negotiations. A first meeting will be held in the first quarter of 2018
“Welcoming the contributions since the 10th WTO Ministerial Conference in Nairobi, our work will build on WTO rules. Our initiative will be undertaken without prejudice to existing WTO agreements and mandates. We encourage all WTO members to join us and to support and enhance the benefits of electronic commerce for businesses and consumers across the globe.”