WTO Director-General called on the international community to ensure that e-commerce is a force for inclusion

Speaking in a session on ‘Making e-commerce work for all’ at the Global Review of Aid for Trade, WTO Director-General, Roberto Azevêdo stressed that e-commerce and the evolution of the digital economy are fundamentally changing the economic landscape. According to him, digital technologies could provide an additional boost to trade by up to 34% by 2030, but there is need to correct digital divides – between developed and developing countries, men and women, rural and urban areas, small and large firms – for this potential to be unleashed. Azevêdo called attention to the importance of discussions taking place at the WTO, under the existing Work Programme on Electronic Commerce and under the Joint Initiative on E-commerce. According to him, the Joint Initiative is touching upon development issues, as participants are interested in understanding what kind of assistance developing countries and least developing countries (LDCs) need to participate in e-commerce flows. He also mentioned the contribution of the G20 Osaka Track to shape the vision of an unfragmented digital world.