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India moves to get a grip on e-commerce issues at WTO

India is trying to comprehend issues pertaining to e-commerce with a view to taking a position in global trade negotiations at the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

By: | New Delhi | Published: September 19, 2016 4:04 PM
The commerce ministry is looking and analysing at all the papers being submitted by the US at WTO on the matter to understand the viewpoints, a senior commerce ministry official said.  (Source: PTI) The commerce ministry is looking and analysing at all the papers being submitted by the US at WTO on the matter to understand the viewpoints, a senior commerce ministry official said. (Source: PTI)

India is trying to comprehend issues pertaining to e-commerce with a view to taking a position in global trade negotiations at the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

The commerce ministry is looking and analysing at all the papers being submitted by the US at WTO on the matter to understand the viewpoints, a senior commerce ministry official said.

The matter assumes significance as rich nations, including the US, want WTO to start negotiations on new issues such as e-commerce, investments and government procurement.

“We are trying to understand the issues relating to it. We are looking at all that. But there is no idea about what e-commerce is. The US has one idea, developing country has another idea. It is not so straight forward,” the official added.

“Now what we are studying is everybody’s interpretation of e-commerce and asking ‘can we come out with a specific definition of this’.”

With a fast growing e-commerce sector both in India and globally, the rich nations want specific guidelines on this at WTO.

After the WTO’s Nairobi ministerial meet last year, India has stated that the member countries must conclude long-pending issues of the Doha round like a reduction in agri-subsidies by developed economies before taking up any new matter for negotiations.

WTO Director General Roberto Azevedo has said e-commerce is a transformative force in global trade, supporting growth, development and job creation.

By reducing trade costs associated with physical distance, e-commerce allows businesses to access the global marketplace, reach a broader network of buyers and participate in international trade, he had said last month.

The US had already submitted a discussion paper at WTO on e-commerce in July.

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