Côte d’Ivoire Tables Text Proposal on E-Commerce, Outlining Options for Capacity Building

In July 2021, Côte d’Ivoire submitted a text proposal for consideration within the framework of the Joint Statement Initiative on electronic commerce (INF/ECOM/66). The text proposes that the agreement’s principles take into account the digital divide faced by developing and LDC Parties, and recognise the need to provide them with assistance and support to build their capacity to implement the agreement’s provisions.

In this regard, Côte d’Ivoire provided proposed textual options for capacity building and technical assistance. For instance, it proposed that upon request of a developing or LDC member, developed and developing members with the capacity to do so shall provide targeted technical assistance, capacity and skill building […] in order to improve their digital ecosystems and to allow them to develop electronic commerce and implement WTO rules in this area. In this context, Côte d’Ivoire also proposed the establishment of an Electronic Commerce for Development Program to encourage, manage and coordinate the contributions that members may provide.

Despite the postponement of MC12, the co-convenors issued a statement in December 2021 emphasising the importance of supporting the engagement of developing members and least-developed country (LDC) members in the initiative, including implementation of commitments. They said they would continue to deepen the discussion on capacity-building options and support for implementation for developing members and LDC members in 2022.

It is worth noting that the Permanent Mission of Côte d’Ivoire has been one of the most active beneficiaries of the TAF2+ WTO Umbrella Grant on the issue of E-Commerce. In particular, a delegate from the permanent mission intervened as a panellist in a majority of the Grant’s Seminars on E-Commerce.

“I am better able to consider development-enhancing negotiating options on the subjects covered by the Joint Statement on Electronic Commerce”
Mission of Côte d’Ivoire in Geneva. Feedback to March 11, 2021 TAF2+ Seminar on E-Commerce.

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