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Addressing digital protectionism – What rules do we need?

Digital trade concerns all businesses – small and large, and from all sectors in the economy, from manufacturing to services. At the same time, digital protectionism – barriers that restrict cross-border data flows and discriminate against goods and services provided by electronic means – is on the rise.

On 10 July, BusinessEurope brought together a high-level panel of experts to discuss how to address these challenges and facilitate international digital trade, promote the convergence of digital regulations and create a favourable environment for investments. The panellists included Maria Martin-Prat De Abreu, Deputy Director-General, DG Trade, European Commission; María Aparici González, Deputy Director General for International Trade in Services and Digital Trade, Spanish Secretary of State for Trade; and Daniel Nord, Senior Group Legal Counsel at Ericsson.

Renewing the World Trade Organisation’s moratorium on customs duties on electronic transmissions, and achieving progress in the context of a Joint statement Initiative on e-commerce were identified as top priorities. In parallel, the EU’s bilateral agenda on digital trade is also important to ensure ambitious rules to protect against data localisation and forced transfers of technology, whilst protecting personal data.

Last updated: 12 July 2023