(MENAFN- Emirates News Agency (WAM))
SINGAPORE, 30th March 2023 (WAM) –WTO Deputy Director-General Anabel González has highlighted the need to bring trade policies, regulations and standards up to speed with the reality of a globalised services and digital economy.
“This is absolutely necessary if countries want to tap into the rapidly growing area of digitally delivered services, a US$ 3.7 trillion annual export opportunity, for job creation, innovation and economic diversification,” she said in her keynote speech at the Future Trade Forum organised by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) in Singapore.
González stressed that WTO members have taken encouraging steps in the right direction, including by extending the ban on customs duties on electronic transmissions at the WTO's 12th Ministerial Conference last year. She also highlighted efforts by groups of WTO members to develop rules to facilitate services trade and investment, and to create a more predictable digital trade environment, enhance consumer trust in digital markets and lower digital trade barriers.
“We are making progress, but more is needed, including to ensure that the digital trade agenda moves in tandem with broader efforts to close digital divides,” she said, adding that“this is the only way to ensure that digital trade can act as a bridge to a brighter, more prosperous and secure future for all”.
González commended businesses and workers worldwide for their contribution to keeping trade flowing despite multiple crises. Thanking ICC Secretary General John Denton for his strong support for multilateralism, she called on business leaders to join forces with all other stakeholders to help revitalize the WTO and adapt rules-based trade to the economic and political imperatives of the 21st century.
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