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Workshop on the Osaka Track Held as Part of the WTO Public Forum 2019

October 15, 2019

On October 11 (same as the local time), 2019, a workshop on the Osaka Track was held as part of the program for the Public Forum 2019 held by the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Geneva.

Moderated by Mr. Cody Ankeny, Senior Manager, Policy, Information Technology Industry Council (ITI), the United States, the workshop, tilted “Harnessing full potentials of data economy: ‘Osaka Track’ for international rule-making and the role of the WTO,” brought together as panelists Mr. Hosuk Lee-Makiyama, Director, European Center for International Political Economy (ECIPE), Ms. Julia Nielson, Deputy Director, Trade and Agriculture Directorate, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and Mr. Michikazu Chihara, Vice-Chair, Trade Policy Committee, Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association (JEITA). Participants made briefings on: benefits brought about by the digital economy and challenges in maximizing them, and the importance of international rule-making concerning this issue.

As a representative of the Japanese government, Mr. Toshiro Iijima, Deputy Director-General, Economic Affairs Bureau, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), participated in the discussions as a panelist. He explained the background to launching the Osaka Track as well as the current situation of the WTO negotiations on electronic commerce and, based on this, he made a briefing on the importance of cooperation with international organizations, industrial players and other entities in further promoting WTO rule-making under the Osaka Track and advancing international discussions on policies for harnessing the full potentials of data and the digital economy.

Through this workshop, member countries confirmed anew the significance of advancing discussions on policies under the Osaka Track and the importance of WTO rule-making taking into consideration requests of industrial players and other stakeholders, which are elements for maximizing the benefits brought about by data and the digital economy.

Japan will continue to promote the WTO negotiations on electronic commerce and to lead discussions on the digital economy beyond electronic commerce in accordance with the processes under the Osaka Track, in parallel with advancing close collaboration with the OECD, the World Economic Forum (WEF) and other organizations.

Division in Charge

Multilateral Trade System Department, Trade Policy Bureau