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China 'an active contributor' to global digital economy, says UN official

Xinhua| Updated: November 29, 2023 L M S

China has been "an active contributor" to promoting an open, inclusive, fair and just system for global digital economy, a UN official has said.

"Digital trade plays a pivotal role in shaping the landscape of international commerce, and its significance is only anticipated to grow in the future," Anna Joubin-Bret, secretary of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL), told Xinhua recently in a written interview.

Joubin-Bret recognized in particular China's rapid development of digital technologies in trade, such as big data, blockchain and online platforms across different industries.

China has launched the initiative of building a digital Silk Road, the technological dimension of the Belt and Road Initiative it proposed 10 years ago, which serves as "another example of China's contribution to enhancing the connectivity of digital trade," Joubin-Bret said on the sidelines of the second Global Digital Trade Expo running from Thursday to Monday.

Noting that legal harmonization assumes an important role in cultivating a favorable ecosystem for digital trade in the future, the official said China has been "an active contributor to the legal harmonization on e-commerce -- not only through UNCITRAL working groups but also by adopting UNCITRAL texts," like the UN Convention on the Use of Electronic Communications in International Contracts, the core legal framework of the UN system in the field of international trade law.

"Collaborative effort among all countries is essential to establishing and upholding a multilateral system for the digital economy, further advancing the rule of law and achieving shared prosperity," Joubin-Bret said.

"This involves all stakeholders engaging in negotiations to jointly develop global standards that facilitate and further enable digital trade, to ensure that the benefits of digital trade are harnessed effectively," she said.

"A good example of such cooperation," she said, "is provided by the active engagement of China," for instance, in ratifying a UN multilateral treaty aimed at promoting trade facilitation that entered into force in February 2021, participating in the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, as well as showing a strong interest in joining the Digital Economy Partnership Agreement.

"UNCITRAL looks forward to China's further contributions as it continues working on digital trade," she added.

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