Ministerial Conference

9th May 2024, Kathmandu

The 13th World Trade Organization (WTO) Ministerial Conference held in Abu Dhabi marked a significant juncture for e-commerce and digital trade policies.

Deliberations at this conference led to crucial decisions shaping the future landscape of electronic commerce and its regulation. Now, with the invaluable insights from key industry figures who were actively involved in these discussions, we delve into the outcomes of the conference and their implications for global trade.

Understanding the Decisions:

At the heart of the conference discussions was the renewal of the moratorium on customs duties on electronic transmissions, a decision with profound implications for global digital trade. Through the lenses of esteemed guests from the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) and the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA), we gain a deeper understanding of the negotiations that led to the 2 March Ministerial Decision. Douglas Johnson, Vice President of Emerging Technology Policy at CTA, and Mary Thornton, Vice President of Global Policy at SIA, offer their perspectives on the significance of this decision and its impact on industry dynamics.

Key Insights and Industry Perspectives:

Douglas Johnson and Ed Brzytwa, Vice President of International Trade at CTA, bring to light the industry’s stance on the Ministerial Decision and its implications for the ongoing Joint Statement Initiative on E-Commerce. Their expertise provides invaluable insights into the industry’s expectations for the future trajectory of digital trade policies, particularly leading up to the next Ministerial Conference in Cameroon.

Mary Thornton’s extensive background in technology, trade, and security issues offers a nuanced perspective on the broader implications of the decisions taken at the WTO Ministerial Conference. Drawing from her experience as a senior trade negotiator for the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, she sheds light on the intricate dynamics of international trade negotiations and the role of digital trade in shaping global economic landscapes.


The 13th WTO Ministerial Conference set the stage for crucial developments in e-commerce and digital trade policies. Through the insights shared by industry experts Douglas Johnson, Ed Brzytwa, and Mary Thornton, we gained a comprehensive understanding of the negotiations, decisions, and industry perspectives that emerged from the conference. As the digital economy continues to evolve, these discussions pave the way for informed policy decisions that will shape the future of global trade.

For more details:13th WTO Ministerial Conference 


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