The E15 engages key stakeholders – trade and investment policy makers, business and thought leaders – in policy dialogues in Geneva and around the world to explore and help validate ideas, align interests and strengthen the impetus for change.

Dialogues with WTO Delegates

Digital Economy and the WTO

15 December 2016

On 15 December, ICTSD will organise a dialogue on Digital Economy and the WTO. The meeting will bring together WTO delegates and E15 experts for constructive exchange in a non-negotiating setting to examine various dimensions of an e-commerce/digital economy agenda at the WTO. Discussions will seek to extract and review ideas that have arisen through the numerous events and initiatives on this issue area over the past six months, and to discern their potential application to the WTO over the next year as members begin to focus on outcomes for the 11th WTO Ministerial Conference (MC11).

Electronic commerce and the digital economy have become a central part of the global economy, promising huge potential but also revealing significant challenges for effective inclusion and participation. For example, the inclusion of SMEs and micro-businesses holds promise, particularly if barriers to access and complexity of regulation can be reduced and transparency and availability of information strengthened. At the same time, this area is highly dynamic, making the challenge of achieving the potential a moving target. Rapidly evolving business models and new agreements among more developed economies are already underway and shaping markets and trade and investment governance.

The meeting will follow on from the E15 Engagement Day on the WTO and MC11, held on 26 September, and represents the first in a series of dialogues to be organised over the course of the year to delve further into selected topics as they evolve.