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BRICS E-Commerce Cooperation Initiative

Overview
During the last decade, along with the rapid development and widespread application of information and telecommunication technology, e-commerce has maintained high-speed growth, and become one of the world’s most dynamic business activities. E-commerce is playing an increasingly important role in promoting the growth of trade, industry transformation and job creation, and has the potential to enable developing countries and MSMEs to better participate in and benefit from global value chains. E-commerce brings overall strategic opportunities for the economic and social development and also profound challenges. BRICS members duly acknowledge the challenges that digital divide imposes on many developing countries and emphasize the need to bridge the digital divide and address its socio-economic implications to ensure e-commerce better contributes to inclusive growth.
After ten years of development, BRICS cooperation is entering a new era. BRICS fully recognized the importance of promoting e-commerce development and cooperation. In 2015, the BRICS leaders endorsed the Framework for BRICS E-commerce Cooperation, which aims to better integrate BRICS e-commerce markets. In 2016, the BRICS Trade Ministers’ Communiqué emphasized the importance of cooperation on e-commerce and BRICS leaders further committed in Goa Declaration to strengthen such cooperation.
In 2017, based on the previous discussions and cooperation, BRICS will take further concrete actions to enhance e-commerce cooperation. According to the related guiding principles, objectives and priorities for cooperation, we will further implement the Framework, and jointly enhance enterprise cooperation, information exchange and capacity building, in order to optimize e-commerce development environment, leverage the e-commerce opportunities for development, including industrial development, generate employment, and inject new impetus into  BRICS cooperation.

Actions
1. Establish the BRICS E-commerce Working Group
To promote the BRICS cooperation on e-commerce, we agree to establish a BRICS E-commerce Working Group which could serve as a body to coordinate inter-government cooperation on e-commerce in agreed areas, including on the basis of outcomes from research and joint studies. The Working Group will periodically meet back to back with the CGETI and conduct activities such as exchanging information including on policy and best practices, providing guidance to the members on enhancing cooperation, and exploring a roadmap for cooperation.
2. Enhance interaction with the BRICS stakeholders on E-commerce
To boost business cooperation among members, promote information and technology sharing, and strengthen capacity-building, we will enhance interaction with business sectors and other stakeholders on e-commerce.
3. Undertake research on BRICS E-commerce
 To undertake research and joint studies that can cover, based on consensus, among others the following areas: global trends, current status of e-commerce in BRICS, measuring dynamism in e-commerce, regulatory and legal frameworks in BRICS related to e-commerce, participation of MSMEs, existing barriers to cross-border e-commerce among BRICS, the development aspects of e-commerce and recommendations for strengthening e-commerce cooperation within BRICS. For all research projects, members will review the relevant Terms of Reference (ToR) to be proposed by the presidency or any other member and determine the entity or organization to which it will be committed. It is proposed that international organizations provide technical support to this work and share any relevant research.

 

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