Sunil Mittal’s WTO Trade Dialogue on E-commerce focuses on SMEs

ICC Chair Sunil Bharti Mittal’s WTO Trade Dialogue on E-commerce with businesses at WTO headquarters focused on addressing the problems of SMEs in digital environment.

Speaking at the conclusion of the event, Sunil Bharti Mittal said, “Digital economy is changing the composition, nature and speed of global trade leading to policy friction – today’s trade rules reflect 20th century patterns of trade. With the size of E-commerce, touching $25 trillion, digital infrastructure is a key determinant required by SMEs in developing countries to be a part of the global value chain. There is a need to focus on bridging the digital divide in a meaningful manner to initiate the negotiations. Without addressing the problems of SMEs in a digital environment, it will further marginalize them.”

Led by ICC Chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal, incoming ICC Chairman Paul Polman and new ICC Secretary General John W.H. Denton AO, business delegates discussed a range of ideas to enhance the contribution of global trade to inclusive growth and sustainable development as part of the WTO’s “Trade Dialogues” process – launched in 2016 with the support of ICC and the B20.

Over 60 business leaders and policy makers from across the globe participated in the Dialogues. In a clear show of support for the multilateral trading system, global business representatives joined trade policymakers at the World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) headquarters in Geneva to discuss future reforms of the multilateral trading system.

At this year’s Trade Dialogues, ICC chaired discussions on e-commerce, trade and sustainable development, and investment facilitation. ICC Chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal led the Discussion Round on E-Commerce. Following the WTO’s 11th Ministerial Conference in Buenos Aires last year, groups of members have banded together in ‘joint initiatives’ to further global rules on these and other topics.


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