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G20 Priorities on Digital Trade

Annex paper 3 to the Declaration of the Ministers responsible for the Digital Economy
April 7, 2017, Düsseldorf

Digitalisation has a vast impact on our economies. Digital trade and technology have triggered a profound transformation of economic and trade structures. This was recognised by the G20 Leaders, who agreed in Hangzhou in 2016 to welcome the B20's interest to strengthen Digital Trade.

In 2017, with a view to deepening discussions and cooperation in order to identify opportunities and challenges related to Digital Trade, the German G20 Presidency invited G20 Members to continue this exchange, notably in the Trade and Investment Working Group (TIWG). G20 Members thank the International Organisations, in particular OECD, WTO, UNCTAD, World Bank, ITC and IMF, for their valuable input on the topic.

G20 Members agree as follows:

Measuring Digital Trade

G20 Members share the common objective to foster informed and evidence-based policy-making regarding Digital Trade, for which reliable data is critical. In view of the complexity of measuring Digital Trade, and with the aim to improve it, more work is needed.

G20 Members acknowledge challenges in measuring Digital Trade, including such technical and complex issues as the definition and scope of Digital Trade, the collection of basic and new sources of reliable data, appropriate accounting frameworks, and the classification of certain transactions as trade in goods or trade in services or both.

G20 Members therefore support efforts to intensify work already underway in relation to mapping and measuring Digital Trade, as an important part of the broader issue of measuring the digital economy. To this end, G20 Members support further progress on this work by national statistical agencies and International Organizations. We encourage the Inter-Agency Task Force on International Trade Statistics (TFITS, co-chaired by OECD and WTO) to engage more actively with all national statistical agencies, as well as with the business community, to develop proposals for efficient reporting systems.

G20 Members would welcome further work by the International Organizations, within their respective mandates, to:

International Frameworks on Digital Trade

Recalling G20 Leaders' commitments on the international dimension of the digital economy set out in their communiqués in both Hangzhou and Antalya, and noting the important work of the Task Force on the digital economy, G20 Members have considered how to foster digital economy development and trade and deepen their understanding and discussion, and have agreed as follows:

Recognizing the Development Dimension of Digital Trade

G20 Members agree that Digital Trade has potential to boost inclusive growth and jobs, but may also bring challenges, in particular to developing and least developed countries. At the same time, G20 Members acknowledge that intensified and concerted action is needed to enhance the ability of developing and least developed countries to more fully engage in Digital Trade. G20 Members agree on the common goal to strive to address the factors contributing to digital divides and contribute to fully inclusive Digital Trade.

G20 Members recognize that enhancing the ability of developing and least developed countries to achieve Digital Trade readiness and to more fully engage in Digital Trade requires specific capacities in a number of areas. These include digital infrastructure, technological development, skills, transparent and predictable regulatory frameworks, and availability of payment solutions. G20 Members emphasize the need for information sharing, capacity building and cooperation to enable and enhance the participation of developing and least developed countries in Digital Trade and in regional and global value chains.

To this end, G20 Members:

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Source: Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Energie

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