Japan has pledged to support Information and Communications Technology (ICT) infrastructure in developing countries with the sum of USD$300 million.
A statement confirming this development issued by Constance Ikokwu, Strategy and Communications Adviser to the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah, indicated that Japan and 69 other countries adopted a joint statement on Electronic Commerce at the meeting on 11th e-commerce World Trade Organisation (WTO) Ministerial Conference in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
She explained that the Joint Statement provided a channel for countries to begin exploratory work e-commerce issues, dealing with both the challenges and opportunities, adding that it also potentially paves the way in future, for negotiations at the WTO on trade matters relating to e-commerce
The communications strategist stated: “During the meeting in Buenos Aires, the 70 countries that have adopted the Joint Statement called for other WTO nations to sign up. They promised to be inclusive and transparent in the discussions.
“Some of the countries that have adopted the statement are: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Cambodia, Hong Kong, China, Iceland, Israel, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Ukraine, United States of America, Uruguay, New Zealand, Moldova, Liechtenstein, European Union, Colombia, etc”, Ikokwu added.
Making further clarification on the thematic thrusts of the statement, the minister’s aide stated that the signatories express their determination to share the goal of advancing electronic commerce work in the WTO in order to better harness these opportunities.
This is even as they recognized “ the particular opportunities and challenges faced by developing countries, especially LDCs, as well as by micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, in relation to electronic commerce and the important role of the WTO in promoting open, transparent, non-discriminatory and predictable regulatory environments in facilitating electronic commerce
They agreed to initiate exploratory work together toward future WTO negotiations on trade-related aspects of electronic commerce, adding that participation will be open to all WTO members and will be without prejudice to participants’ position on future negotiations. A first meeting will be held in the first quarter of 2018.
“Welcoming the contributions since the 10th WTO Ministerial Conference in Nairobi, our work will build on WTO rules. Our initiative will be undertaken without prejudice to existing WTO agreements and mandates. We encourage all WTO members to join us and to support and enhance the benefits of electronic commerce for businesses and consumers across the globe”, they pledged