Canada begins public consultations on joining the Digital Economy Partnership Agreement
March 19, 2021 - Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada
The digital transformation of the global economy is creating new opportunities for Canadian companies and exporters that will support a sustainable and inclusive economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Today, the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade, announced public consultations on Canada’s interest in joining the Digital Economy Partnership Agreement (DEPA) between Chile, New Zealand and Singapore.
The global digital trade and e-commerce sector offers growing opportunities for companies of all sizes to succeed in global markets. Joining the DEPA would help Canadian businesses navigate a thriving global digital and data-driven economy, providing clear rules on digitally enabled trade, and promoting growth that benefits everyone.
The consultations will inform Canada’s approach to discussions with Chile, New Zealand and Singapore on potentially joining the agreement. Industry stakeholders, NGOs, and all interested Canadians, including traditionally under-represented groups such as women, micro, small and medium-sized enterprises and Indigenous peoples, are encouraged to provide their input by May 3, 2021.
“Advancing Canada's participation in global digital trade and e-commerce will ensure that more Canadians have access to the benefits and opportunities that flow from international trade and investment. Joining the DEPA would help Canadian businesses benefit from digital trade and adapt to emerging technologies.”
- Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade
The DEPA was signed by Chile, New Zealand and Singapore on June 12, 2020, and entered into force on January 7, 2021 for New Zealand and Singapore.
On December 9, 2020, Canada notified the DEPA parties of its interest in beginning exploratory discussions on the possibility of joining the DEPA.
On February 16, 2021, Canada held its first exploratory discussions with the DEPA parties.
The Government of Canada is seeking views from individuals and stakeholders on the DEPA text as it currently exists as well as views on how the DEPA could be updated to advance international digital trade and address any trade barriers.
In 2019, 24% of Canadian businesses made e-commerce sales outside of Canada.
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, export values from retailers providing electronic shopping were outpacing those from retailers who did not provide electronic shopping.
In 2020, electronic shopping retailers accounted for 9.5% of export values from retailers, up from 3.4% in 2015.
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