ICC has welcomed a ministerial statement issued today announcing the start of formal WTO talks to establish global rules for e-commerce. 

The statement, supported by some 75 governments, represents a major step forward in efforts within the WTO to enable e-commerce in support of sustainable development and small-business growth.

ICC Secretary General John W.H. Denton AO said:

“Today’s statement is a very welcome move by members of the WTO to maximize the potential of e-commerce to make trade work for everyone, everywhere.

“Traditionally, commerce over distance has come with significant costs – limiting the ability of SMEs and businesses in developing economies to benefit from global trade. In an Internet-enabled environment this does not need to be the case… but today’s trade rules, which largely reflect 20th Century patterns of trade, are not always well-suited to supporting the growth of SME e-commerce.

“That’s why we need an ambitious global agreement on e-commerce to tackle growing policy frictions in the digital space and – above all – empower entrepreneurs.

“With the right global policies there is an opportunity to unleash a new era of inclusive trade: one in which all companies – regardless of size, sector or location – can benefit from equal access to the global trading system. What’s more, enhanced governance of digital trade – providing greater transparency and trust – will be vital to safeguard the integrity and openness of the global internet.

“Today’s initiative underscores the continued importance of the WTO as a forum for trade policy-making – and we encourage governments to pursue an ambitious agreement with the minimum of delay.”

MEDIA CONTACT

The International Chamber of Commerce is preparing for the publication of Incoterms® 2020, an update of the renowned regulations that define the responsibilities of buyers and sellers operating in the international trade system.

Sign up to our news alerts today to receive the latest news and information about the Incoterms® rules.