Federal Minister for Commerce, Engr. Khurram Dastgir Khan participated in the Roundtable discussion on ‘E-Commerce for Development’ and addressed the General Session at the 14th meeting of United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in Nairobi, Kenya.
The Minister in his speech said that consumer protection is essential to unleash the true potential of e-commerce which is going to be the next big thing in international trade. He appreciated the ‘E-trade for All’ initiative of UNCTAD and said that it will provide ample opportunities to the developing nations to catch-up on the nations which are reaping dividends from the widespread use of e-commerce.
The initiative will help developing countries in seven policy-areas, including e-commerce assessment, information and communication technology infrastructure, payments, trade logistics, legal and regulatory frameworks, skill development and financing for e-commerce.
The Minister specially highlighted the deplorable conditions faced by the people of Indian Occupied Kashmir including the inhuman blockades, food shortages, attacks on ambulances and hospitals and urged the international community to play its part in alleviating them from this ordeal. The Minister said that the international community must respond to this tragic reality being played out in the Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir including taking stock of the impact of occupation, as recognized by several UN resolutions, on the economic development of Indian Occupied State of Jammu and Kashmir.
He also called upon the Conference to continue its valuable work to enable Palestinian institution building efforts, and alleviate the dire socio-economic conditions in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.
The Minister urged that a range of issues of long-standing concern to the developing world which are still unresolved may be given high priority, including in the area of agriculture, misuse of subsidies, flexibilities on intellectual property and opaque and trade restrictive use of technical, sanitary and phyto-sanitary standards.
He mentioned that the policy-makers in international institutions should focus more on some areas of interest to the developing countries such as volatile commodity prices, debt issues, operations of rating agencies and access to technologies on fair basis.
The Minister urged the members that the consensus building role of UNCTAD should be revitalized. He said that a polarized environment in multilateral negotiating fora coupled with rapid economic and technological changes is making it increasingly difficult to arrive at broad-based agreements. UNCTAD can provide a forum where the ground can be prepared for concluding such agreements, he added.