Colombia becomes the 74th member of the Information Technology Agreement (ITA) after completing its negotiations and committing to a schedule of liberalization.
The ITA participants represent around 97 per cent of world trade in information technology products. The ITA provides for participants to completely eliminate duties on IT products covered by the Agreement. The benefits of this plurilateral agreement are extended to all WTO members.
WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy welcomed the participation of Colombia in this plurilateral agreement and said that “it represents an important step by Colombia in its policy of modernizing and further opening its economy. This is important for Colombia, for the technology industry and also for the WTO, in particular this year when we plan to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the ITA in May.”The celebration will consist of a symposium which will conduct a review of trade liberalization and the evolution of global trade in IT products since 1996, and the impact on developing countries. The symposium will also review the latest developments in the IT sector (new technology, technological innovation and the global supply chain), the socioeconomic benefits, and its role as an enabler of sustainable development. It will also look towards the future, examining the prospects for, and challenges to, further expansion of trade in IT products.