On 30 November 2016, the Department of foreign trade policy (Ministry of Industry and Commerce) held a meeting on WTO Information Technology Agreement (ITA). This meeting was co-chaired by Mr. Bounterng Duangsavanh, Deputy Director General of the Department of Foreign Trade Policy and Mr. Daniel Fitzpatrick, Head of Lao PDR – U.S International and ASEAN Integration Project phase II (LUNA II) and other international experts were also participated in this meeting.
The purpose of the meeting was to create awareness and understanding about the Information Technology Agreement (ITA) and amended version with additional list of goods or ITA expansion under WTO particularly benefits to be gained from joining these two agreement. The agreement is a multilateral voluntary agreement of WTO, means any countries are not obliged to join the agreement, but members of WTO have to become a signatory of this agreement and perform the following steps of the contract.
The ITA is one of the important agreement in WTO, which started the negotiations after the establishment of WTO in 1995, in that time the technology information products were growing rapidly in world trade system; an importance content of the agreement was set to the WTO member of 82 countries to eliminate tariffs to 0% for all goods specified in the contract, which covers 97% of the value of IT products in the world. Among the products and advance technologies included: computer equipment, communications, power machine, software, science equipment and other component. In the Ministerial meeting at Nairobi, December 2015, there were 50 members countries concluded their negotiations on the ITA. Currently an agreement was extended more 201 products with a value of about 1300 billion US dollars per year. For the ASEAN countries that participates in this agreement are: Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Viet Nam.
The Meeting was run for 01 full day, with participants over 90 people from government agencies and businesses, especially those who operate IT business.
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