In the statement, the co-convenors stressed the importance of developing global digital trade rules and the critical role e-commerce would play in the global economic recovery from COVID-19. They noted that the negotiations had advanced despite the challenges presented by the pandemic, highlighting the good progress made in small groups on specific issues. They added that provisions that enable and promote the flow of data are one of the key areas where discussions will be intensified from early 2021.
The consolidated negotiating text will be the basis of further negotiations in 2021, the co-convenors stated. Looking ahead, they said: “We will intensify work in the coming months to further narrow differences and find potential landing zones.”
The number of participants in the initiative stands at 86 WTO members, accounting for over 90 per cent of global trade and representing all major geographical regions and levels of development.
The full statement is available here.