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AuthorPanagariya, Arvind University of Maryland
TitleE-commerce, WTO and Developing Countries
Imprint Geneva, United Nations. 2000
Descript vii, 24 p. : graphs


Abstract: This paper discusses the policy issues e-commerce raises for the World Trade Organization (WTO) and developing countries. The author advocates three policy prescriptions. First, it will be most appropriate to classify e-commerce as trade in services with GATS discipline applied to it. Developing countries should ensure that e-commerce is not classified as goods trade with a permanent zero custom duty pact. Such an outcome would liberalize all e-commerce by default, undermining their bargaining power. Second, at present there is some disagreement about whether international Internet transactions should be classified as cross-border trade or consumption abroad. In making their commitments in the UR and post-UR negotiations in services, countries presumably viewed these transactions as cross-border trade. Therefore, Internet transactions would be best classified as cross-border trade. Finally, developing countries such as India that have the capacity to export skilled services through Internet should aggressively negotiate market access with developed countries in the future WTO negotiations. This involves negotiations on two fronts. One, they should seek liberalization by developed countries in sectors in which they have a comparative advantage. And two, they should seek recognition of their education, qualifications, requirements met, or licenses or certificates granted in the markets of other countries. [English only]

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