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APEC Wants Fast Action on E-Commerce

Rt Hon Don McKinnon
New Zealand Minister for International Trade
Chair, APEC Ministerial Meeting

APEC Ministers have approved measures to move more rapidly towards paperless trading throughout the region, the Rt Hon Don McKinnon said today.
APEC aims to achieve paperless trading by 2005 for developed member economies and 2010 for developing ones, he said.
"Ministers want higher priority given to this work, and economies will be encouraged to incorporate the paperless trading initiative into their Individual Action Plans. Ministers also want working groups to give higher priority to the initiative, by formulating collective actions that all economies can use to move closer to meeting the paperless trading goals."
Ministers agreed electronic commerce was a potential catalyst for economic growth. The primary role of the public sector is to remove impediments to electronic commerce. To this end, Ministers have asked the APEC Electronic Steering Group to progress with a planning tool, allowing member economies to chart their individual readiness in this area.
"The planning tool will prove useful for economies, cities and communities wanting to identify problems and develop strategies so they can make full use of e-commerce," Mr McKinnon said.
"Ministers want APEC economies to compare progress and share information. They want work to start on consumer protection, focusing on information sharing, benchmarking and best practices to fulfil APEC¡¦s aim of building trust and confidence in e-commerce.
"They agree the best way to achieve this is for the APEC Electronic Commerce Steering Group to work closely with private sector groups. Joint demonstration projects with the business sector are being encouraged, so everyone can benefit from various experiences around the region.
APEC Ministers recommended the United Nations Commission for International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) be used when laying regulatory e-commerce foundations.
"Proper legal frameworks will inspire more confidence and trust in the use of e-commerce. We ask APEC economies to consider adopting UNCITRAL guidelines when creating or amending e-commerce related legislation."
For further enquiries contact:
Jo Coughlan
Press Secretary, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Phone 025 405082

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