India stresses need for policy space for digital industrialization at ongoing WTO Ministerial Conference-13 in Abu Dhabi

At the Working Session on Work Programme on E-Commerce at the World Trade Organization’s 13th Ministerial Conference on 29 February 2024, India presented its views on the importance of digital industrialization and how this emerging segment of the global economy holds the promise for economic development and prosperity for the developing countries including the Least Developed Countries (LDCs). India stressed that all policy options should be available for the WTO members to pursue for promoting digital industrialization.

India stressed that currently, a few firms based in developed countries currently dominate the global landscape of e-commerce. India explained that there was a huge digital chasm between the developed and the developing countries which makes it challenging to increase the participation of developing countries in global E-commerce.

India reiterated that with the digital revolution still unfolding and with increasing diffusion of technologies such as additive manufacturing and 3D printing, data analytics, Artificial Intelligence, Internet-of-Things etc., there was a need for re-examination of the implications of the moratorium on customs duties on electronic transmissions, particularly for the developing countries and the LDCs.

India said that the developing countries need to focus on improving their domestic physical and digital infrastructure, creating supportive policy and regulatory frameworks, and developing digital capabilities. India’s own digital transformation is powered by its unshakeable belief in innovation and its commitment to speedy implementation.

Through the Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI) approach, India is promoting innovation, democratising technology and fostering a competitive ecosystem for digital businesses. DPI has spurred a national technology revolution in areas like commerce, credit, healthcare, payments, e-governance, citizen services among others. India’s own experience shows that a broad thrust on digital infrastructure, skills, education and enabling policies has spurred rapid, population-scale digitalization.



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