unacademy 30th January 2019 Important Editorial Discussion(E-comm Talks: India Must Stand Firm) Presented By: Prabhakar Jha
Recently, a group of 75 countries announced its decision to launch negotiations on the trade-related aspects of e-commerce at the WTO, but India has decided to stay away from plurilateral talks. What is a Plurilateral Agreement in WTO? It refers to an agreement which member countries can be party to on a voluntary basis.
What the developed countries of the digital world are seeking through the WTO negotiations on digital economy and e-commerce? Background push by the developed countries to initiate negotiations . First, they want to have access to the free and unrestricted flow of data role of governments in of the digital economy. .The announcement of the plan . Second, they seek to curtail the to start the e-commerce negotiations was made at the World Economic Forum (WEF) meet in Davos. regulating almost all key aspects . Third, they want to leverage the negotiation to reduce their cost . 70 countries, including China, issued a joint statement confirming their intention to commence WTO negotiations on trade-related aspects of electronic commerce of doing business
. India did not even be an observer at the plurilateral negotiations at the moment as India thinks as it thinks it is not the right time to take on multilateral obligations in the area of e- commerce rules. India's Stand . India, which was earlier considering the possibility of becoming an observer if the e- commerce negotiations were launched, has decided against it now as it could lead to more pressure for participation. . More than half of the 164 WTO members, including large developing countries such as India, South Africa and Argentina, have decided not to be part of the talks.
The digital giants have managed to disguise their deep commercial interests and have succeeded in projecting these negotiations as being beneficial for developing countries With the weight of more than 70 countries behind the plurilateral initiative and the joint statement at Davos, India is likely to come under intense pressure from different directions to join the e-commerce negotiations. Implications on India In e-commerce, India already has a multilateral work programme agreed to by ministers, which will be undermined by the plurilateral initiative. The recent tightening of e-commerce marketplace rules by the government has led to protests from companies such as Amazon and Flipkart and also rumblings in Davos, where many countries have called for a stable e- commerce policy environment in India
GS And GA faculty @ Mahendra's Coaching Institute. Teaching Polity, and international relations for 7 years