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G20 Meeting an opportunity to realise the benefits of the digital economy

"While there are significant challenges confronting the existing WTO framework, this week's G20 meeting in Japan is an opportunity to address the need for it to be resilient enough to address trade issues of the future, such as rules governing digital trade," Ai Group Chief Executive, Innes Willox, said today.

"The ubiquitous nature of data and information flows means that the impact of unilateral action in cyber security, data governance and data localisation will instantly be felt by businesses worldwide.

"We understand that there are complex issues around privacy, cyber attacks and the impact of social media on society and the democratic process that need to be addressed. However, we urge all G20 Leaders to remain committed to realising the benefits of the digital economy.

"The challenges that confront the WTO may seem intractable. But, the reasons for its creation have not diminished with time and we are grateful for Australia's ongoing support for WTO reform and Australia's leading role in the WTO Digital Trade Committee.

"As well, Ai Group has joined with the national industry associations of fourteen of the G20 nations to find an agreed path to resolving the pressing issue of the impending dissolution of the WTO dispute settlement system. The Global Business Coalition statement on this issue is available at this link.

"A stable and functional World Trade Organisation plays a crucial role in protecting Australia's prosperity now and into the future. One in five Australian jobs depend on trade. For trade to operate optimally, it depends on an agreed set of global rules that provide Australian companies with the confidence to embark onto the international stage," Mr Willox said.

Media enquiries: Tony Melville – 0419 190 347