The 11th Ministerial Conference (MC11) of the World Trade Organization (WTO) will take place in December, in Buenos Aires. As discussed in a previous blog post, one of the main topics under consideration in preparation for MC11 is e-commerce.
Proposals from European countries to change the rules regarding the taxation of Internet companies, continuous developments in the field of artificial intelligence (AI), and increased governmental pressures on technology companies to remove extremist content were among the main digital policy developments in the month of September.
The third and last day at the WTO Public Forum reiterated a message from the previous two days: e-commerce can serve as a tool for development, which presents both opportunities and challenges for developing countries. In addition, it brought into focus issues such as the role of e-commerce in fostering cross-border trade, consumer rights, intellectual property rights, data flows, and automation and artificial intelligence (AI).
The second day at the WTO Public Forum brought into focus multiple digital policy issues. E-commerce was discussed from multiple angles: as a gate to international trade, a tool for development, a challenge, and an opportunity for developing countries. The digital divide, e-payments, data flows, and the impact of new technologies were also debated throughout the day.
‘Trade: Behind the headlines’ is the theme of this year’s World Trade Organization (WTO) Public Forum. Taking place this week in Geneva, it is bringing together policy makers, civil society and business representatives, and researchers, to discuss the opportunities and challenges of trade, and to look at recent developments in the area. They will also explore solutions for a more inclusive global trade system.
Developments in the field of artificial intelligence (AI) picking up pace globally, extremist content remaining a cause of concern, and countries banning Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) were among the main digital policy developments in the months of July and August. These and other developments, trends, and regional updates were the subject of August’s just-in-time briefing on Internet governance – our monthly appointment on the last Tuesday of every month – which took place on 29 August 2017.
The combined quarterly revenue of a handful of Internet companies is staggering. As the recent financial results have shown, the $142 billion figure is a 12-fold increase over the companies’ revenue 10 years ago.