WTO Council for Trade in Services discusses online services trade during global pandemic

In a meeting of the World Trade Organization‘s (WTO) Council for Trade in Services on 1 July 2020, some governments put forward a discourse on ‘the challenges and opportunities for digital services delivery and governments’ activities aimed at achieving better digital inclusion’ amid the COVID-19 crisis. During the discussion, they underscored their trade concerns vis-à-vis transparency, 5G communications networks, pre-installed software, satellite operators, and cybersecurity. In this vein, developed countries showcased their endeavors to increase digital capabilities and shed light on some of the prerequisites to promote international services trade including improving connectivity, mastering digital tools, and enhancing international cooperation. On the other hand, developing countries posited infrastructural constraints and the need to have access to data as the main challenges in this regard.