New Delhi, Jun 8 (PTI) Bharti Enterprise and ICC Chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal, along with incoming ICC Chairman Paul Polman and new ICC Secretary General John W.H. Denton AO, led business delegation for trade dialogue held at Word Trade Organisation headquarters.

“Led by ICC Chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal…business delegates discussed a range of ideas to enhance the contribution of global trade to inclusive growth and sustainable development as part of the WTO’s ‘Trade Dialogues’ process,” ICC said in a statement.

The trade dialogue process was launched in 2016 with the support of ICC and the B20 in which over 60 business leaders and policy makers from across the globe participated in the latest dialogues.

At this year’s Trade Dialogues, ICC chaired discussions on e-commerce, trade and sustainable development, and investment facilitation.

Digital economy is changing the composition, nature and speed of global trade leading to policy friction – today’s trade rules reflect 20th century patterns of trade. With the size of e-commerce touching USD 25 trillion, digital infrastructure is a key determinant required by SMEs in developing countries to be a part of the global value chain,” Mittal said.

He said that there is a need to focus on bridging the digital divide in a meaningful manner to initiate the negotiations.

“Without addressing the problems of SMEs in a digital environment, it will further marginalise them, Mittal said.

He emphasised the importance of progressive WTO reform in response to current global challenges, including digitalisation.

Global business representatives showed support for the multilateral trading system and joined trade policy makers at the World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) headquarters in Geneva to discuss future reforms in it.

Following the WTO’s 11th Ministerial Conference in Buenos Aires last year, groups of members have banded together in joint initiatives’ to further global rules on these and other topics.

ICC, which represents over 6 million private sector members in more than 100 countries, is the world’s largest and most representative business organisation and served as the co-organiser of the Trade Dialogues event.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.