Portland SEO's Augusto Beato lauded the government of India for taking a stand in protecting its interest amid a massive push by richer World Trade Organization (WTO) nations for global e-commerce rules.
India will not join the talks on e-commerce at the WTO, believing that it will eventually oblige it to accept permanently the moratorium on imposing customs duties.
India fears that new rules could provide the pretext for unfair mandatory market access to foreign companies. This will hurt the rapidly growing domestic e-commerce sector, which is still finding its niche. Also, there are significant business interests involved with global e-commerce giants looking for an official route to tap the lucrative markets of the developing world, especially India.
"While all countries should apply technology as it comes, each should also be aware which segments will be beneficial, and which will hurt it," avers Augusto Beato, the CEO of Portland SEO. "In this case, India doesn't want to give in to the desires of some developed countries, who were resisting India's move for data localization and tech transfer."
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The idea of the WTO agreement is to create guidelines that will serve as the basis of any later international agreement on e-commerce, which will favor richer nations owing to the nature of the developed market systems and penetration by online firms in the retail space.
The Indian government believes the negotiations on substantive obligations related to e-commerce will oblige India to permanently accept the current moratorium on imposing customs duties on electronic transmissions.
Trade expert and Jawaharlal Nehru University professor Biswajit Dhar said that WTO's move is disruptive as tech-driven commerce displacing a significant number of players in the traditional market.
The draft, brought out on Saturday, warned about the dangers of massive revenue and data loss, which will accompany any move to build a global e-commerce regime.
India also lamented that for the first time a major decision had been taken without complete consensus among member nations.
"We will not encourage a multilateral platform to run, based on the interests of a few nations. Our policy will deal with concerns such as cross-border data flows,” another Indian official said. Despite protests from major economies like India, 76 mostly developed nations agreed to initiate talks on the subject last month. Supported by the EU and the US, the decision was taken on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos.
SOURCE: Press Advantage [Link]
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