WTO training participants group photo

WTO training course on services aspects of e-commerce concludes

Thirty government officials from across the world completed a training course on the services aspects of e-commerce from 10 to 13 October at the WTO. Organised as part of the WTO’s technical assistance activities for developing economies, this course provided participants with an in-depth look at formulating e-commerce policies and undertaking negotiations on e-commerce at the multilateral and regional level.

Participants explored, in particular, the relationship between e-commerce and trade in services, including negotiations on e-commerce at the WTO.

Mara Mussini from Argentina said: “This course has been a unique opportunity to get a deep insight into how the rapid changes in the digitalization of the economy have affected both the supply and consumption of a wide array of services sectors. It has also shed light on the importance of digital infrastructure and regulatory frameworks and the relationship between the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) and the e-commerce negotiations.”

Sizwe Lenox Simelane from South Africa said: “This course has deepened my understanding of emerging issues, such as the relationship between the GATS and e-commerce, the e-commerce moratorium, and the Joint Statement Initiative on e-commerce. The expertise I have gained will assist my work in supporting ongoing negotiations under the African Continental Free Trade Area and the Southern African Development Community as well as work under the WTO’s Council for Trade in Services.”

Saira Tariq from Pakistan said: “I was particularly interested in how the GATS provisions can be leveraged to facilitate digital trade in services and promote cross-border e-commerce, and how developing economies can be helped to overcome regulatory barriers and boost their participation in e-commerce. The skills I have gained will come in handy as I oversee trade in the South Asian region within Pakistan’s Ministry of Commerce, which is currently negotiating new bilateral agreements and recalibrating preferential arrangements in light of evolving global trends in digital trade.”

Organized jointly by the Trade in Services Division and the Institute for Training and Technical Cooperation of the WTO, the Thematic Course on Services Aspects of Electronic Commerce is a “Level 3” specialised training activity, the highest level of learning within the WTO Progressive Learning Strategy.

The list of participants is available here.

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