Tuesday, April 23, 2024

WTO e-commerce moratorium extension a win for exporters

Kiwi businesses will continue to benefit from an agreement to ban customs duties on digital trade, Trade Minister, Todd McClay said today.

The Minister, who last week vice-chaired the WTO 13th Ministerial Conference in Abu Dhabi where he was also responsible for e-commerce negotiations, said securing a two-year extension to the e-commerce moratorium across the line gives NZ businesses predictability, certainty and transparency.

“Agreement was reached against significant opposition just before midnight on Friday which is excellent news for our business sector,” said Mr McClay.

“The WTO’s 166 members also committed to strengthening the rules-based trade system our exporters rely on, and accelerating progress towards restoring functioning disputes settlement by the end of the year.”

Progress made on fisheries subsidies reform lays the groundwork for conclusion at the next WTO meeting, he said.

“We continue to work alongside our Pacific partners to secure rules that support healthy oceans and help level the playing field for our unsubsidised and sustainable fisheries sectors. In particular, I would like to recognise the Deputy Prime Minister of Fiji Manoa Kamikamica for his significant contribution to this negotiation.”

Last week, Mr McClay held bilateral meetings with 14 countries, including the United Arab Emirates (UAE), China, the European Union, India, the United Kingdom, the United States, Colombia, Brazil, and Saudi Arabia.

“I thank WTO Ministerial Conference hosts, the UAE, and Meeting Chair UAE Trade Minister Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi,” he said.

Information on WTO MC13 outcomes is available at  https://bit.ly/3Ioarcc.

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