WTO members highlight importance of “digital industrialisation” to economic growth

WTO members on 23 June acknowledged the importance of digital industrialization for economic growth, highlighting the measures needed to support this process, such as investing in digital literacy and strengthening the legal and regulatory framework underpinning the digital economy. The discussions took place in a dedicated session under the Work Programme on Electronic Commerce.

Singapore noted that the growth of the digital economy had introduced new risks and challenges as well as opportunities for workers and businesses. In its view, governments must invest in digital upskilling and digital transformation to leverage the opportunities and to prepare workers and businesses for the new challenges. It further highlighted that policies and programmes in this area must incorporate adaptability, resilience and openness to change. Other members shared their national initiatives to promote digital industrialization and shared information about their development programmes and international cooperation initiatives.

Ambassador Usha Dwarka-Canabady of Mauritius, the facilitator of the Work Programme on Electronic Commerce and the e-commerce moratorium on imposing customs duties on electronic transmissions, welcomed members’ exchanges on their national experiences and their discussion on the role of the WTO in this area. She informed members that the next dedicated discussion will be held on 18 July, with a focus on the moratorium.

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