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WTO’s JSI Continues Its Work on Ecommerce

The World Trade Organisation’s eCommerce Committee (JSI – don’t you love acronyms, especially when they don’t relate to the subject at hand!) plans to address several topics, including implementation periods for a future agreement on eCommerce, in particular for developing and least developed countries, and horizontal issues such as principles and definitions in the agreement in its final meeting of 2022. Negotiators in small  working groups continued to seek convergence on topics such as privacy, telecommunications services, electronic invoicing and cryptography.

A “stocktaking session” examined proposals in the area of trade facilitation and logistics services, as well as cooperation. The work of the stocktaking session will help proponents decide how to take forward proposals that do not enjoy broad support. At this meeting, the group work resulted in two thirds of the proposals being withdrawn or merged.  Two new proposals will be presented, one on ecommerce and digital inclusion that takes into consideration the interests of indigenous peoples, women, rural communities and micro, small, and medium sized enterprises; and another proposal on special and differential treatment for developing countries. The JSI’s work, as this Newsletter has previously pointed out, is a model for the AfCFTA’s planned Protocol on Digital Trade.

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Alastair Tempest

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