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ERIA CBP Holds Workshop on E-commerce in Naypyitaw

22 July 2019

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On 11-12 July 2019, ERIA’s Capacity Building Programme facilitated a workshop in Nay Pyi Taw on 'E-commerce for Trade Negotiators', co-hosted with the Ministry of Transport and Communications (MoTC), Republic of the Union of Myanmar and UNCTAD. The workshop was held with support from the Australian Government.

The workshop was opened with a key note given by U Sai Saw Lin Tun, Director General of Information Technology and Cyber Security, MoTC, Martine Kidane, Economic Affairs Officer, ICT Policy of UNCTAD and Jeremy Gross, Director of Capacity Building of ERIA.

The first day of the workshop was attended by over 80 government officials from all ministries and agencies involved in e-commerce. The first session covered, Trends and Developments in Digitalization and E-Commerce: Globally and Regionally, with speakers Ms Martine Julsaint Kidane and Ms Maria Lourdes A. Yaptinchay, Director, Bureau of Trade and Industrial Policy Research, Dept of Trade and Industry, the Philippines.

The second session was on Developments in Digitalization and National Development Strategies for E-Commerce in Myanmar and Bridging National Interests and Global Trends with Mr Sven Callebaut, International Trade and E-Trade Adviser, Daw Nwe Ni Soe Yin, Director, Information Technology and Cyber Security Department, MoTC, Daw Su Thet Hnin, Assistant Director, Trade Department, Ministry of Commerce and Dr Tun Thura Thet, Vice President, Myanmar Computer Federation and CEO, Myanmar Information Technology PTE, as speakers.

The third session was an opportunity to hear more specifically from the private sector, with speakers coming from leading e-commerce players in Myanmar: Visa, Shop.com.mm, SBS Express Service, Information Matrix Co., Ltd. Representatives from these companies shared knowledge of global and regional trends and development in digitalization, how Myanmar is faring with the development of digitalization and E- commerce and how the gap between the country’s current situation and global trends of e-commerce could be bridged.

The second day of the workshop was limited to 30 participants – those more directly involved in negotiating. The experts presented on how government should prepare for negotiation, how to enhance International Trade and Regional Integration thorough E-commerce and gave an overview of E-commerce provisions in Free Trade Area (FTA) negotiations. There were group discussions and simulation exercise on different topics related with E-commerce negotiation.

After these presentations and discussions, participants were divided into small groups for a simulation exercise on selected issues such as cross boarder data flow, custom duties and online consumer protections.

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