Osaka, Jun 28 (GCCurrentAffairs) India on Friday asserted that given the importance the data storage would have in times to come especially in an era of digital economy, all the discussions and debates on data should be held in the WTO context as the movement of data is certainly “one form of trade”.
“We would like the international rule making on data to be based on WTO context, because movement of data is actually one form of trade,” Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale told reporters here after Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a series of key engagements including an Informal Meeting of the BRICS leaders.
Mr Gokhale said that India’s position on the issue – that is also “shared” by BRICS countries that any negotiation on data should not be held in grouping outside the WTO context.
“…..be that be G20 or group of countries within the WTO or individual countries who take position,” he laid emphasis on.
“This is important as in the future when the digital economy grows, the flow of data will be critical to trade,” Mr Gokhale said adding therefore the rule making must involve all countries.
The developing countries must be given the ‘latitudes’ while making of international rules to deal with the data.
In a Joint Statement on the BRICS Leaders’ Informal meet, it has been also stated that the BRICS
recognises the importance of the interface between trade and the digital economy.
“We also affirm the role of data for development. We are committed to transparent, non-discriminatory, open, free and inclusive international trade. Protectionism and unilateralism run counter to the spirit and rules of the WTO. We reaffirm our commitment to multi-lateralism and international law, and our full support to the rules-based multilateral trading system with the WTO at its center,” the statement said.
The BRICS leaders pledged to work constructively with all WTO Members on the necessary reform of the Organization, with a view to better addressing current and future challenges in international trade, thus enhancing its relevance and effectiveness, the statement said.