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Progress on informal e-commerce talks

Trade ministers from 83 countries, that are in negotiations for framing rules on e-commerce, have agreed to develop a consolidated negotiating text by June, in time for the WTO’s 12th ministerial conference. The ministers also stated that they were committed to achieve a high standard outcome, which will involve as many WTO members as possible. In a joint statement after an informal meeting of ministers on WTO electronic commerce negotiations held in Davos, Switzerland, hosts Australia, Japan and Singapore said that the ministers “welcomed the good progress achieved over the first year of negotiations, and underscored the importance of the initiative both commercially and systemically for the WTO”. 

Communications and Information Minister S. Iswaran, who is also Minister-in-charge of Trade Relations, said, “Singapore is committed to leading negotiations on electronic commerce – alongside Japan and Australia – which is the future of global trade. It will modernise the WTO rule book to address new issues and needs in the rapidly evolving digital landscape. This will benefit large and small players alike.”