China is home to 11 out of the 20 largest digital giants in the world. Digital Economy Partnership Agreement membership will immensely help China gain better access to these economies.
Explained: Why China Eager to Join Digital Economy Partnership Agreement
New Delhi (ABC Live India): Chinese President Xi Jinping while addressing the first session of the 16th Group of 20 (G20) Leaders’ Summit in Italy expressed an intention to join the Digital Economy Partnership Agreement (DEPA), the Chinese membership in this group will open a series of opportunities for China in the digital economy sector.
It is pertinent to mention here that in May 2020, China has already moved an application to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).
Dr. Rahul Nath Chaudhary, a Research Fellow at the Indian Council of World Affairs, New Delhi wrote in his article that, “the current signatories undoubtedly practice an open and free digital economy but are not among the major global players. As against them, China is the second-largest digital economy in the world. China’s digital economy reached 35.8 trillion yuan ($5.5 trillion) in 2019, accounting for 36.2 percent of the GDP, with a growth rate three times higher than that of the traditional manufacturing economy. China is home to 11 out of the 20 largest digital giants in the world. DEPA membership will immensely help China gain better access to these economies. It will penetrate further to the niche areas of the digital economy. Through this pact, China can come even closer to these economies while deepening its dominance. But for this, China needs to bring a series of amendments in its domestic as well as external policy to comply with DEPA.”
Know About Digital Economy Partnership Agreement
The Digital Economy Partnership Agreement (DEPA) between Singapore, Chile and New Zealand is the first DEA concluded by Singapore. The DEPA is a first of its kind agreement that establishes new approaches and collaborations in digital trade issues, promotes interoperability between different regimes and addresses the new issues brought about by digitalisation.
DIGITAL ECONOMY PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT
The Parties to this Agreement, resolving to: ACKNOWLEDGE the importance of the digital economy and that ongoing economic success depends on their combined ability to harness technological advances to improve existing businesses, create new products and markets and enhance daily life;
RECOGNISE the global value of the Internet and its open architecture as an enabler of the digital economy and catalyst for global innovation;
RECOGNISE the role of standards, in particular open standards, in facilitating interoperability between digital systems and enhancing value-added products and services;
RECALL the Sustainable Development Goals in the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, particularly Goal 8 and Goal 9;
ACKNOWLEDGE the importance of the digital economy in promoting inclusive economic growth;
RECOGNISE the need to harness the benefits of advanced technologies for all;
ACKNOWLEDGE the need to identify the growing range of barriers that relate to trade in the digital economy and the need to update global rules in response;
ACKNOWLEDGE that the digital economy is evolving and therefore this Agreement and its rules and cooperation must also continue to evolve;
CONSIDER that effective domestic coordination of digital economy policies can further contribute to achieve sustainable economic growth;
RECOGNISE their interdependence on matters relating to the digital economy and, as leading online economies, their shared interest in protecting critical infrastructure and ensuring a safe and reliable Internet that supports innovation and economic and social development;
AFFIRM a commitment to partnership cooperation on matters relating to the digital economy;
RECOGNISE their inherent right to regulate and resolve to preserve the flexibility of the Parties to set legislative and regulatory priorities, safeguard public welfare, and protect legitimate public policy objectives; and
REAFFIRM the importance of promoting corporate social responsibility, cultural identity and diversity, environmental protection and conservation, gender equality,
INITIAL PROVISIONS AND GENERAL DEFINITIONS
Article 1.1: Scope
1. This Agreement shall apply to measures adopted or maintained by a Party that affect trade in the digital economy.
2. This Agreement shall not apply:
(a) to a service supplied in the exercise of governmental authority;
(b) except for Article 2.7 (Electronic Payments), to financial services;
(c) except for Article 8.3 (Government Procurement), to government procurement; or
(d) except for Article 9.5 (Open Government Data), to information held or processed by or on behalf of a Party, or measures related to that information, including measures related to its collection.
Article 1.2: Relation to Other Agreements
1. Recognising the Parties’ intention for this Agreement to coexist with their existing international agreements, each Party affirms:
(a) in relation to existing international agreements to which all Parties are party, including the WTO Agreement, its existing rights and obligations with respect to the other Parties; and
(b) in relation to existing international agreements to which that Party and at least one other Party are party, its existing rights and obligations with respect to that other
Party or Parties, as the case may be.
2. If a Party considers that a provision of this Agreement is inconsistent with a provision of another agreement to which it and at least one other Party are party, on request, the relevant Parties to the other agreement shall consult with a view to reaching a mutually satisfactory solution. This paragraph is without prejudice to a Party’s rights and obligations under
Module 14 (Dispute Settlement).1 For the purposes of the application of this Agreement, the Parties agree that the fact that an agreement provides more favourable treatment of goods, services, investments or persons than that provided for under this Agreement does not mean that there is an inconsistency within the meaning of paragraph
Article 1.3: General Definitions
For the purposes of this Agreement, unless otherwise provided in this Agreement:
Agreement means the Digital Economy Partnership Agreement;
APEC means Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation; customs duty includes any duty or charge of any kind imposed on or in connection with the importation of a good, and any surtax or surcharge imposed in connection with such importation, but does not include any:
(a) charge equivalent to an internal tax imposed consistently with Article III:2 of GATT 1994;
(b) fee or other charge in connection with the importation commensurate with the cost of services rendered; or
(c) antidumping or countervailing duty; days means calendar days; enterprise means any entity constituted or organised under applicable law, whether or not for profit, and whether privately or governmentally owned or controlled, including any corporation, trust, partnership, sole proprietorship, joint venture, association or similar organisation; existing means in effect on the date of entry into force of this Agreement; financial services is as defined in subparagraph 5(a) of the Annex on Financial Services in
GATS; GATS means the General Agreement on Trade in Services, set out in Annex 1B to the WTO Agreement; GATT 1994 means the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1994, set out in Annex 1A to the WTO Agreement; goods means any merchandise, product, article or material; Joint Committee means the joint committee established under Module 12 (Joint Committee and Contact Points); measure includes any law, regulation, procedure, requirement or practice;
Party means any State or separate customs territory for which this Agreement is in force; person means a natural person or an enterprise; person of a Party means a national or an enterprise of a Party; personal information means any information, including data, about an identified or identifiable natural person;
SME means a small and medium-sized enterprise, including a micro-sized enterprise;
WTO means the World Trade Organization; and WTO Agreement means the Marrakesh Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization, done at Marrakesh on April 15, 1994.