China Urges WTO Members To Expedite Rules For Multilateral E-Commerce

China calls on World Trade Organization (WTO) members to speed up the formulation of rules for multilateral digital trade, also known as e-commerce, and create new opportunities for sustainable development, Chinese Commerce Minister Wang Wentao said on Tuesday.

“Digital trade is now booming, giving new impetus to all countries, especially developing countries. China calls for the early comprehensive completion of e-commerce negotiations, accelerating the establishment of multilateral e-commerce rules and creating new opportunities for sustainable development,” Wang said at a WTO ministerial on trade and sustainable development.

There are WTO members who sever trade ties and bully others under the guise of green and just trade when they employ protectionism that hampers sustainable development, the minister said. “Unilateralism and protectionism” practices run counter to global sustainable development, Wang added.

China for its part supports increasing the stability and sustainability of production and logistics lines, he concluded.

E-commerce exploded in popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns from 2020-2022, which pushed people worldwide to seek new ways of buying practically everything — via the internet. In 2023, the e-commerce world trade volume stood at $3.15 trillion, and in 2024 it is projected to reach $3.65 trillion, according to a Statista business platform forecast.

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