E-Commerce and the Digital Economy New Issues - Joint Statements

Addressing the Digital Divide in E-commerce JSI: from Enabling Issues to Data and Source Code Provisions

This issue paper aims at facilitating a greater understanding of some technical issues under consideration in the JSI negotiations on electronic commerce. In particular, it analyses the concept of digital divide and how it could be addressed in the discussions, as well as the issues of free flow of data, data localization and source code. In this context, it explores ways in which the digital inclusion could be tackled in order for the e-commerce discussions at the JSI to benefit all participants, drawing from the available research and analysis in this area.

As an integral part of its analysis, the paper examines textual proposals raised under the current Joint Statement Initiative (JSI) negotiations, especially those submissions on data flows, data localization, and source code. The authors also consider how the digital divide is treated under meeting agendas and other key documents.

This material has been produced with funding by UK aid from the United Kingdom government. The Umbrella Grant is a project of the Trade and Investment Advocacy Fund (TAF2+) and is implemented by the International Institute for Sustainable Development, in consortium with CUTS, BKP Economic Advisors, and InterAnalysis. This paper benefited from peer review, contributions, and editorial support from Yasmin Ismail (who also contributed substantive inputs), Soledad Leal Campos, Sofía Baliño, Susan Joekes, Rashmi Jose, Rashid S. Kaukab, and Julien Grollier, among others.

Views expressed in the publication are the authors’ own and do not necessarily reflect HM Government’s official positions or those of TAF2+.