As e-commerce and the digital economy rapidly expanded, calls for developing new common rules to govern cross-border e-commerce in goods and services also grew. At the eleventh WTO Ministerial Conference (MC11), Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2017, a group of 71 WTO members agreed to start “exploratory” work towards future WTO negotiations on trade-related aspects of electronic commerce by releasing a Joint Statement on Electronic Commerce (JS2017). The initiative however did not achieve consensus among the entire WTO membership. After a year of exploratory discussions, in January 2019, 76 WTO members confirmed their “intention to commence WTO negotiations on trade-related aspects of e-commerce” with the stated objective of achieving a “high standard outcome” by issuing a follow-up Joint Statement (JS2019).1 As of November 2020, the negotiations continue with the participation of over 80 WTO members.

Sustainable Development Goals:
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