Will Use E-Commerce For Our Benefit, Won’t Allow Its Value To Be Appropriated By Others: India Warns US, EU 

Swarajya Staff

May 06, 2019, 10:13 AM | Updated 10:07 AM IST

Geneva Ministerial Conference of WTO. (Wikimedia Commons) 
Geneva Ministerial Conference of WTO. (Wikimedia Commons) 

Asserting its rights to use electronic data for "for its own development rather than allow its value to be appropriated by others," India on Friday (3 May) challenged proposals put forth by the US and the EU at WTO that seek to eliminate cross-border restrictions on data transfer, reports Mint.

This is the sharpest rebuke issued by India till date on the brewing tensions at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) regarding global e-commerce regulations.

In clear terms, India has signalled its intentions to the US and the EU countries that it will not surrender its independence to formulate a national e-commerce policy to restrict cross-border electronic data movement.

Rather than being tied by one-size-fits-all global WTO rules, India is looking to preserve flexibility in policy-making so that a robust domestic e-commerce sector can be developed by imposing customs duties on electronic transmissions.

"India wants to protect domestic industry by imposing customs duties and leverage technology for creating jobs and wealth, by ensuring competition and level playing field," said India's trade envoy JS Deepak.

The ambassador added that most developing countries were "not ready for binding rules" in e-commerce.

An African envoy noted that “a large majority of countries rallied around India’s stand on the need to develop strong domestic e-commerce industries to bridge the digital trade and digital-dependency.”

Also Read: We Will ‘Not Sit Back And Watch’ Destruction Of Rules-Based Global Order, Says India’s Ambassador To The US

Get Swarajya in your inbox.