Information technology

Information Technology: in December 1996, at the WTO’s Singapore Ministerial Conference, 29 signatory countries concluded the Ministerial Declaration on Trade in Information Technology Products establishing the Information Technology Agreement. Since then the number of participants has grown to 78, representing about 97 per cent of world trade in information technology products. Currently, the ITA product coverage is basically computers, telecommunications equipment, semiconductors, office equipment and scientific and measuring devices. An attempt to expand the product coverage is ongoing since May 2012, with the view to ensure that the Agreement takes the technological developments occurred since 1996 into account and therefore reflects the realities of today's trade. The ITA has contributed considerably to expand trade in ICT products, from $600 billion in 1996, today ICT products account for over $ 1500 billion world exports, i.e. one fifth of total world exports of manufactured products. Taking into account the fast pace of product development in the ICT industry, the EU believes that the ITA should be reviewed, not only by expanding the product coverage, but also by tackling non-tariff barriers and ensuring regular updates of the Agreement in the future, so that technological progress and convergence can be fully taken into account.

Back to Regular work of the WTO