Prime Minister Abe, President Xi, President Trump and European Commission President Juncker joined the Director-General in welcoming the Osaka Declaration on the Digital Economy which was launched at the event. The Declaration commits the signatories to promote efforts on international rule-making in this area and urges further progress on e-commerce at the WTO.
Addressing the meeting, the Director-General said:
"A fragmentation of the digital economy would hurt us all. It would mean higher costs and higher barriers to entry, affecting developing countries and smaller businesses the most. The 20th century showed that a fractured global trade order was not sustainable – that’s why we created the WTO. The same is true today. You may well be working on a constitution for the economy of the 21st century.
“Prime Minister Abe has shown real leadership in placing a strong focus on the digital economy during this G20 Presidency. The Osaka Track commits the participants to promoting global rules on digital trade.
“We are working to deliver this through the WTO – and we’ve already seen huge leaps forward being taken. Negotiations are now underway between 78 WTO members, representing 90% of global trade. This is a real revolution in global trade. Most G20 members are on board. If determination is there, there will be success."
The Osaka Declaration on the Digital Economy includes the following statement:
“We affirm the importance of promoting national and international policy discussions for harnessing the full potential of data and digital economy to foster innovation, so that we can keep pace with the fast-growing digital economy and maximize the benefits of digitalization and emerging technologies.
“Today, we, standing together with other WTO Members that participate in the Joint Statement on Electronic Commerce issued in Davos on 25 January 2019, in which 78 WTO Members are on board, hereby declare the launch of the “Osaka Track”, a process which demonstrates our commitment to promote international policy discussions, inter alia, international rule-making on trade-related aspects of electronic commerce at the WTO.
“In this regard, we renew our commitment to work together building on the Joint Statement in Davos and confirm our commitment to seek to achieve a high standard agreement with the participation of as many WTO Members as possible. We are encouraged by the progress made so far, and resolve to make further efforts to achieve substantial progress in the negotiations by the 12th WTO Ministerial Conference in June 2020.”
The full text of the Declaration is available here.
The signatories of the declaration are: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, the European Union, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States, Spain, Chile, Netherlands, Senegal, Singapore, Thailand and Viet Nam.