ESCAP-ARTNeT webinar: The WTO Joint Statement Initiative on Electronic Commerce: A post-MC13 dialogue

March 8
4:00 pm
 – 5:30 pm
 (Indochina Time)

The WTO E-commerce Joint Statement Initiative (JSI) aims to agree common rules in areas including: enabling electronic commerce; promoting openness and trust in e-commerce; cross-cutting issues; telecommunications and market access for e-commerce firms.  The JSI was launched at the WTO Ministerial Conference in 2017.

The WTO’s 13th Ministerial Conference (MC13) took place from 26 February to 2 March 2024 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Ministers from across the world attended to review the functioning of the multilateral trading system and to take action on the future work of the WTO.

During MC13, on electronic commerce, ministers adopted a Ministerial Decision instructing the General Council to hold periodic reviews on the E-commerce Work Programme with a view to presenting recommendations for action to the Ministerial Conference. Members also agreed to maintain the current practice of not imposing customs duties on electronic transmissions until the 14th Session of the Ministerial Conference (MC14) or 31 March 2026, whichever is earlier. The moratorium and the Work Programme will expire on that date.

The webinar will convey experts in the field of e-commerce and WTO, and discuss the ramifications of MC13 on e-commerce. The webinar will also serve as a kick-off live session for ESCAP’s facilitated course on e-commerce and digital provisions in regional trade agreements (9-15 Mar, 2024).

The panel of distinguished speakers includes:

  • Ambassador Tan Hung Seng, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Singapore to the World Trade Organization and World Intellectual Property Organization, Co-Convenors of the WTO Joint Statement Initiative on E-Commerce;
  • Hamid Mamdouh, Senior Counsel at King & Spalding LLP and former Director of the Trade in Services and Investment Division of the WTO;
  • Yasmin Ismail, Senior Policy Advisor at The Forum on Trade, Environment & SDGs (TESS);
  • Henry Gao, Professor of Law, Singapore Management University; Senior Fellow, Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI).


Trade, Investment and Innovation Division +66 2 288-1234 [email protected]