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Multilateral Cooperation

Multilateral Cooperation

The Ministry is interacting with various multilateral forums like WTO, UN and its Bodies (UNESCO, UNCTAD, UNDP, ECOSOC, ESCAP etc.), G20, RCEP, Commonwealth, SAARC, ASEAN, World Bank and Asian Development Bank (ADB) etc. to showcase India's strength in ICT sector, protect its interests and to explore `new business opportunities for the Indian IT and Electronics industry

World Trade Organisation

  • The World Trade Organisation (WTO) is the global international organisation dealing with the rules of trade between the nations. At its heart are the two WTO agreements, negotiated and signed by the bulk of the world's trading nations and ratified by their Parliaments. General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) applies to trade in services and General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) applies to trade in goods
  • The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology is actively involved in the on-going negotiations in WTO for trade in Information Technology and Services (Computer and Related Services) under GATS and for trade in Electronics Goods through the system of Non Agricultural Market Access (NAMA) under GATT. Ministry is also providing inputs on the E-Commerce issues
  • Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Department of Commerce is the nodal agency of the Government of India for all matters pertaining to WTO including both the agreements i.e. GATS and GATT
  • For further details please click at https://commerce.gov.in/ (External website that opens in a new window)


Global Alliance for ICT and Development (GAID) of United Nations

UNESCAP - Asia Pacific Centre for ICT (APCICT):

  • APCICT is a subsidiary body of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP). It came into existence in June 2006 at Incheon, Republic of Korea. The Centre mission is to strengthen the efforts of the member countries of ESCAP to use ICT in their socio-economic development through human and institutional capacity building. To meet this objective, APCICT work is focused on three inter-related pillars. They are; training, research and advisory services. Together they form an integrated approach to ICT human capacity building
  • The centre is aimed at creating ICT-ready environment through capacity-building trainings and workshops. Its main areas are ICT applications and development; ICT for development policy, process and governance and e-Government applications
  • India has been member of the Governing Council (GC) of APCICT since its inception and attending the GC meetings. The Ministry has been funding UN APCICT to the tune of US$ 20,000 per annum. Indian participants have been attending the training programs/workshops/etc organized by APCICT
  • Towards cooperation with APCICT, the Ministry intends to extend its expertise towards development of multi-purpose community e-centers, enhancing Pacific connectivity for improved ICT access, furthering initiatives in HRD and capacity building, etc
  • More information about the programme is available on website http://www.unapcict.org(External website that opens in a new window) (External website that opens in a new window)


United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO):

  • In the area of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), during the year 2000, UNESCO has initiated an intergovernmental programme of Information For All (IFA) which is exclusively dedicated to promoting universal access to information and knowledge for development. Through this programme, Governments of the world have pledged to harness the new opportunities of the information age to create equitable societies through better access to information
  • Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India is actively involved in the UNESCO Information For All Programme by providing various national level inputs and information on best practices
  • More information about the IFA programme is available on the UNESCO website http://unesco.org(External website that opens in a new window)


Commonwealth Connects Programme (CCP)

  • The Commonwealth Connects Programme has laid a clear strategic foundation for the realisation of its vision of how ICT can be used to promote sustainable development throughout the Commonwealth and how Commonwealth networks can be used to bridge the digital divide
  • The programme has taken significant steps in facilitating the sharing of the enormous ICT resources deployed within the Commonwealth so that ICT-rich member countries do more to support countries that are ICT-disadvantaged in using ICT for development and improving the lives of all their citizens
  • The programme supports projects on a selective basis, looking at their potential for replication across member states and for demonstrating the potential for collaboration between Commonwealth governments and other stakeholders
  • Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India is actively involved in this programme and is providing various inputs based on its strengths in the field of information and communication and technologies including advice on replication of various successful projects in the Commonwealth member states
  • Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India has already facilitated Commonwealth Connects in replicating Indian Hole-in-the-Wall project in Uganda

G20 and Digital Economy

G20 members include the G8 countries, namely, USA, Japan, Germany, UK, France, Italy, Canada and Russia; and the 11 emerging and developing countries, namely, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, South Africa and Turkey; and the EU. The European Union is represented by the President of the European Council and by the European Central Bank.

G20 members accounted for 90 per cent of the World GDP and nearly 80 per cent of World trade in 2011. G20 countries represents two thirds of World Population.

  • Digital Economy: The G20 leaders recognized that we are living in an age of Internet economy that brings both opportunities and challenges to global growth. In 2016, a Digital Eocnomy Task Force was set up under the Chinese Presidency to collectively leverage digital opportunities, cope with challenges, and promote the Digital Economy to drive inclusive economic growth and development. The Digital Economy refers to economic activity that uses digitized information and knowledge as the key factor of production, modern information networks as the important activity space, and the effective use of information and communication technology (ICT) as an important driver for efficiency-enhancing and economic structural optimization. Internet, cloud computing, big data, Internet of Things (IoT) and other ICTs are used to collect, store, analyze, and share information digitally and transform social interactions
  • This Ministry is the nodal agency for DETF to present India’s stance. MeitY negotiated a discussion paper on Digital Economy under the Chinese Presidency 2016 which identifies six key areas for cooperation in digital economy, including: expand broadband access and improve quality; promote investment in the ICT sector; support entrepreneurship and promote digital transformation; encourage e-commerce cooperation; enhance digital inclusion and promote development of MSMEs. A Digital Eocnomy Development and Cooepration Initiative was adopted under the Chinse Pesidency to cooperate in promote digital connectivity & e-infrastructure, digital skills, digitized manufacturing, Standards, intellectual property rights, Trust & Transparency, Privacy & data protection etc

Accordingly, three documents were adopted after the G20 Leaders Summit in 2016:

  1. G20 Leaders’ Communique Hangzhou Summit
  2. G20 Blueprint on Innovative Growth
  3. G20 Digital Economy Development and Cooperation Initiative


Considering the potential growth of G20 members, the subject was further taken up through Digitalization Agenda under the German Presidency in 2017. Under the German Presidency, the Digitalisation Agenda was negotiated wherein trust & transparency, cross border data flow, consumer protection, openness and fair competition, portability, digital skills were the key issues of deliberations. A Digital Economy Ministerial Declaration was adopted during the Digital Ministers’ meeting. The G20 Digital Ministers agreed on collaborative approaches on substantive issues concerning digital economy such as digital inclusion, digital access, ICT for girls, international standards, digital financial inclusion, cyber security, competition and consumer protection to be achieved by the member countries of G20 in the coming years

The Digitalisation Agenda was further adopted during the G20 Leaders Summit in 2017 to further strengthen the cooperation in Digital Economy under the future Pressidencies

  1. Digital Economy Ministerial Declaration
  2. G20 Leaders’ Declaration 2017