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G20 trade ministers' meet: E-commerce, global protectionism to figure

twitter-logo PTI        Last Updated: June 4, 2019  | 20:33 IST

New Delhi, June 4 (PTI) Issues like e-commerce and increasing global protectionism would figure in the meeting of G-20 trade ministers at Tsukuba in Japan on June 8 and 9, an official said. Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal will represent India at the meeting of G-20, which is a grouping of developed and developing nations. Matters that are hindering the functioning of the World Trade Organization (WTO) may also come up in the ministerial meeting on trade and digital economy. The e-commerce issue assumes significance as certain developed countries want to negotiate an agreement at the WTO. India is of the view that it should be discussed only after having a consensus on the issue. Multinational firms have already flagged concerns on certain provisions of the draft e-commerce policy, floated by the commerce and industry ministry. The draft has called for creating a legal and technological framework for imposing restrictions on cross-border data flow from specified sources such as data generated by users in India by various sources including e-retail platforms and social media tools. It has also stated that a business entity that collects or processes any sensitive data in India and stores it abroad shall be required to adhere to certain conditions like all data stored abroad should not be made available to other business entities outside India, for any purpose, even with the customer consent. Seventy-six WTO members have already launched talks on e-commerce. India is not part of this. Increasing protectionism at trade front and trade war between the US and China would impact all countries. The WTO has said that global trade growth is expected to be lower in 2019 than it was last year, due to widespread "tensions" and economic uncertainty. The G-20 members include India, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, EU, France, Gemaany, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, UK and the US. PTI RR HRS

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