Costa Rica proposes an e-commerce for development agenda at the WTO

Costa Rica put forward a paper (JOB/CG/139) advancing its position on current e-commerce discussions at the WTO. The country endorses previous documents tabled by other countries, proposing the creation of a working group to discuss e-commerce issues. Moreover, Costa Rica’s contribution focuses on the establishment of an ‘E-Commerce for Development Agenda’, which would be an integral part of the Work Programme on e-commerce. This would encompass an assessment of the needs of developing countries in relation to e-commerce, their challenges and priorities, under a joint effort put in place by UN agencies, such as the WTO, UNCTAD and the ITC, together with the World Bank. The document suggests that the E-commerce for Development Agenda should focus on six areas

  • ICT infrastructure and services, with the aim to apply trade policy to help reduce the digital divide.
  • Trade logistics, focused on achieving trade facilitation in developing countries and LDCs.

  • Payment solutions, in order to facilitate mobile and international payment services and financial inclusion. 

  • Legal and regulatory frameworks that could promote an e-commerce enabling environment
  • E-commerce skills development and technical assistance, aiming to improve e-commerce readiness with a particular focus on Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs)
  • Access to finance for e-commerce, especially for MSMEs and LDCs.