The last WTO Ministerial meeting was held in Bueno Aires. Argentina in 2017, some countries stressed for displacing the “development agenda “ for a new agenda on digital trade.
However, most of developing countries expressed their fear of this displacement. The concerns raised by them are as follows:
- Few global players will dominate the e-commerce field.
- Domestic players will be at a disadvantage.
- Digital trade is still it in its nascent stage in most developing countries.
- Polices and rules of large corporations will not benefit small domestic enterprises.
- World Economic Forum (WEF) is used as a platform by developed countries to favour their large corporations.
- No concrete policy on taxation, consumer protection and employment generation in digital trade.
Measures need to be taken:
- Structural transformation in employment generation.
- Development focused digital industrialization strategy.
- Need for investment in developing countries legal, technical and economic infrastructures.
- Concrete policy formation to develop and support domestic industries.
- Strategically promote domestic micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
- Ensure proper taxation and investment.
- Ensure proper universal benefits of the digital economy.
- Advance consumer welfare and privacy through enforceable consumer protection.
- Sound competition practices.
Civil society organization, consumer and environmental groups and other institution should come forward to reject this unfair practice. The “development agenda “ is the pre-requisite for developing countries especial for India.