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MINISTERIAL CONFERENCE: NINTH SESSION, BALI, 3-6 DECEMBER 2013
WT/MIN(13)/32, WT/L/907
11 December 2013
Work Programme on Electronic Commerce

 

Ministerial Decision of 7 December 2013

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The Ministerial Conference,

Recalling the “Work Programme on Electronic Commerce” adopted on 25 September 1998 (WT/L/274), and pursuant to the mandate assigned by Members in the Eighth Session of the Ministerial Conference (WT/L/843) to continue the reinvigoration of that work with a view to the adoption of decisions on that subject at its session in 2013,

Decides:

To continue with the positive work under the Work Programme on Electronic Commerce since our last session, based on its existing mandate and guidelines and on the basis of proposals submitted by Members in the respective WTO bodies. In that regard, we instruct the General Council and its relevant bodies to continue substantially invigorating this work, especially under the initiatives taken in relation to commercial issues, development and evolving technology addressed in the discussions and the two complementary workshops held under the auspices of the CTD and CTS on electronic commerce. Any relevant body of the Work Programme may explore appropriate mechanisms to address the relationship between electronic commerce and development in a focused and comprehensive manner,

To reiterate the importance of adhering to WTO's basic principles in the on-going discussion on e-commerce including non-discrimination, predictability and transparency. In that regard, the Work Programme should continue to examine the trade related aspects of, inter alia, enhancing internet connectivity and access to information and telecommunications technologies and public internet sites, the growth of mobile telephony, electronically delivered software, cloud computing, the protection of confidential data, privacy and consumer protection,

To further reiterate that the Work Programme shall take forward the issues emerging in the discussions and the evolving application of e-commerce to enhance economic/development opportunities, with special consideration of the situation in developing countries, particularly in least-developed country Members and least connected countries. It shall continue to examine opportunities and challenges for access to electronic commerce by micro, small and medium sized enterprises, including small producers and suppliers,

To instruct the General Council to hold periodic reviews in its sessions of July and December 2014 and July 2015, based on the reports submitted by the WTO bodies entrusted with the implementation of the Work Programme, to assess its progress and consider any recommendations on possible measures related to electronic commerce in the next session of the Ministerial Conference,

That Members will maintain the current practice of not imposing customs duties on electronic transmissions until our next session, which we have decided to hold in 2015.