WTO members address electronic commerce and technology transfer in final thematic session

WTO members discussed electronic commerce and technology transfer on 21 September as part of the eighth dedicated discussion held this year under the Work Programme on Electronic Commerce.

Ambassador Usha Dwarka-Canabady of Mauritius, the facilitator of the Work Programme on Electronic Commerce, welcomed the exchanges which took place at the meeting. These included experience-sharing by members and discussions on technical assistance aimed at helping developing members bring technology to the forefront of their economic development.
The meeting included a presentation by Egypt on an African Group communication regarding the  role of transfer of technology in resilience building (WT/GC/W/888).
Egypt, on behalf of the African Group, said technology transfer is a vital component of building economic resilience, with e-commerce serving as both a catalyst and a beneficiary of technology transfer.  The African Group has emphasized the need for collaborative efforts, openness and inclusivity in the discussion of trade, technology transfer and sustainable development, with the WTO having an important role in contributing to this process, Egypt said.
Around 20 members took the floor to comment on the African Group communication.
The meeting also heard from Cambodia regarding its communication, “E-commerce Readiness Development and Challenges: The case of Cambodia” (WT/GC/W/900), as well as a brief presentation from South Africa on a recent market inquiry by its Competition Commission.
In closing the meeting, Ambassador Dwarka-Canabady said from next month the Work Programme would start working on the convergence of issues in the eight thematic discussions held and find what areas of convergence could give members a basis to move forward and to make recommendations to the WTO’s 13th Ministerial Conference (MC13) to be held in Abu Dhabi in February 2024.

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