27 Jun 2017

DIGITALEUROPE takes a look back at 20 years of ITA

DIGITALEUROPE takes a look back at 20 years of ITA

Today, historic tariff-busting Information Technology Agreement (ITA) celebrates its 20th anniversary in Geneva.

Since its conclusion in 1996, the deal has led to increased use of ICT goods, contributing to innovation and economic growth in all 82 signatory countries, starting with the European Union (EU). With hundreds of products at ‘zero-tariff’, the deal has been extended to another 201 goods at last Ministerial Conference in Nairobi in December 2015, after 3 years of intensive talks.

“By offering the latest technologies at an affordable price, the ITA has significantly contributed to the digital transformation of our society and our industries”, DIGITALEUROPE’s Director General Cecilia Bonefeld Dahl stated.

At the WTO Symposium on the 20th Anniversary of the Information Technology Agreement, DIGITALEUROPE and its members will be speaking about the opportunities of the ITA as a development tool to convince more countries to join, the importance of safeguarding that the deal is well implemented, as well as the next milestones for the ICT sector at multilateral level.

DIGITALEUROPE will be also meeting with WTO Director General Roberto Azevêdo to discuss the expectations of the EU Tech sector ahead of the next MC11 in Buenos Aires later this year.

“We wish now to see the WTO delivering on an ambitious e-commerce work programme, and to agree on a first roadmap to tackle non-tariff barriers on ICT products”. Mrs Bonefeld Dahl also commended the strong commitment of the European Commission in making the ITA a true success: “the EU has played a key role in the expansion of the deal and should continue to take leadership in the upcoming steps for digital trade”.

The Symposium is taking place at the same time the EU expresses concerns on rising protectionism among G20 countries. Considered as one of the fastest and most growing sectors, the digital industry continues to be on the radar of many countries looking at developing their own local production base. DIGITALEUROPE calls on the EU and its trade partners to elevate combatting digital protectionism as a global economic priority and lean on the ITA as the global incubator for innovation and growth.

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