“The e-trade initiative led by Australian Trade Minister, Steve Ciobo, is timely and necessary to address the WTO’s slow response to the changing digital trading landscape,” Australian Industry Group Chief Executive, Innes Willox, said.

“Unfortunately, our multilateral rules bodies have not kept up with the changes driven by the growth of e-commerce, particularly when faced with protectionist barriers.

“This initiative makes Australia a lead player in the development of a structure and nomenclature within the WTO and other multilateral bodies to address digital trade barriers. The big advantage will be consistency across all jurisdictions, particularly on data privacy.

“Australian manufacturers in particular have been early adopters of technical advances and deeply engaged in e-commerce, both business to business and directly to consumers.

“Updating trade rules to better reflect the nature of e-commerce should deliver value to Australian exporters and reduce red tape,” Mr Willox said.

Source: AiGroup

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