61. Conditions for appropriate e-commerce in developing countries

Thursday, 30 September 2021, 13:30 - 14:30 CEST

A session at the WTO Public Forum.

Even before COVID-19, e-commerce was already the most important engine of world trade. A few countries and companies, however, have garnered the lion’s share of benefits from this ongoing process - especially the US and China and their digital platforms. The COVID crisis has not changedthis undesirable development, and may possibly accelerate it. At the same time, trade talks are ongoing at the WTO towards a plurilateral agreement on e-commerce. While transnational corporations are calling for a free flow of data, India, South Africa and some other developing countries, and even the EU, seek to establish data sovereignty. They are presenting new policies in this regard, including with data localisation requirements. Does there exist an in-between solution that would be best for developing countries? How should digital trade and data laws be designed for inclusion and poverty reduction? What could be WTO’s role in achieving this goal?


  • Torbjörn Fredriksson, Chief at ICT Policy Section , UNCTAD
  • Parminder Jeet Singh, Executive director , IT for Change, India
  • Africa Kiiza, Program Coordinator Trade Policies and Negotiations, Southern and Eastern
  • Africa Trade Information and Negotiations Institute, Uganda
  • Vahini Naidu, Coordinator of the Trade for Development Program, South Centre


  • Sven Hilbig, Policy Advisor Trade Policy and Digitalization, Bread for the World
Organized by Bread for the World,