10 Apr 2017

PRESS RELEASE - G20 rightly recognises importance of digital trade

PRESS RELEASE - G20 rightly recognises importance of digital trade

DIGITALEUROPE welcomes the G20 Digital Economy Ministerial Declaration issued last Friday. We believe that the principles agreed by G20 leaders go a long way to reflect the recommendations that we – together with Bitkom, Anitec, Tech’in’France, Syntech Numérique, AFNUM, SFIB, techUK, ITI, JEITA, AIIA, ITAC and KEA – presented last February. The digital market is global. Regulating the Internet requires global thinking.

G20 leaders have rightly recognised that digital trade is an opportunity and a high priority on the international digital agenda with their inclusion of an annex to the Digital Economy declaration.

Digital trade has become a horizontal driver for the global economy and has enabled the development of further innovation, growth and entrepreneurship by helping small entrepreneurs reach out to consumers and businesses all over the world.

At the G20 Digital Multi Stakeholder Conference last Thursday, German Minister of Economy Brigitte Zypries stated that we need to reaffirm the principle of free trade in a digitally connected world. Digital protectionism is not a solution. We concur.

We urge G20 leaders to seize the opportunity of the WTO’s Eleventh Ministerial Conference (MC11) to make progress on future-proof digital trade principles – especially in the following areas: free flow of information, cybersecurity, safeguarding the essence of digital platforms as enablers of digital trade, IPR and protection of source code, global standards and technical regulations, consumer protection and transparency. We would also like to recall that enforcement of these key principles is crucial to safeguarding the benefits of digital trade.

Many studies already exist on the measurement of digital trade and its contribution to developing and developed countries. Last year, in its 2016 report ‘digital globalisation: the new era of global flows’, the McKinsey Global Institute highlighted that approximately 12% of the global goods trade is conducted via international e-commerce, while global flows of goods, foreign direct investment, and data have increased current global GDP by roughly 10% compared to what would have occurred in a world without such flows. This value was equivalent to EUR 7.4 trillion in 2014 alone, with data flows accounting for EUR 2.6 trillion of this effect. More recently, the E15 initiative, together with ICTSD and the World Economic Forum, published a report on ‘Maximizing the Opportunities of the Internet for International Trade’ analyzing various policy options. Finally, the ECIPE ‘Digital Trade Estimates Project’ also provides a comprehensive tool entirely dedicated to digital trade policy.

In parallel, DIGITALEUROPE and its members are committed to bridging the digital gap. We are involved in the UNCTAD Investment track and support the initiatives aiming to achieve UN Sustainable Development Goals. We encourage G20 leaders to pursue discussions on investment in the digital economy in relevant tracks.

We are looking forward to the outcomes of the UNCTAD e-commerce week later this month, as well as the development of OECD discussions on tackling barriers to digital trade. We stand ready to work with G20 leaders, and especially the European Union – the leader in exports of digitally deliverable services, to build a strong, reliable international Internet ecosystem to benefit every consumer, business and government around the globe.

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