G20 : Economic Cooperation ahead

G7 Trade Ministers’ Digital Trade Principles


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : G7

Mains level : Digital Trade Principles

The Group of Seven wealthy nations agreed on a joint set of principles to govern cross-border data use and digital trade.

What are the Digital Trade Principles?

  • Open digital markets: Digital and telecommunications markets should be competitive, transparent, fair, and accessible to international trade and investment.
  • Cross-border data flows: To harness the opportunities of the digital economy and support the trade of goods and services, data should be able to flow freely across borders with trust.
  • Safeguards for workers, consumers, and businesses: Labour protections must be in place for workers who are directly engaged in or support digital trade, providing decent conditions of work.
  • Digital trading systems: To cut red tape and enable more businesses to trade, governments and industries should drive forward the digitization of trade-related documents.
  • Fair and inclusive global governance: Common rules for digital trade should be agreed and upheld at the World Trade Organization.

About Group of Seven

  • The G-7 or ‘Group of Seven’ includes Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
  • It is an intergovernmental organization that was formed in 1975 by the top economies of the time as an informal forum to discuss pressing world issues.
  • Initially, it was formed as an effort by the US and its allies to discuss economic issues.
  • The G-7 forum now discusses several challenges such as oil prices and many pressing issues such as financial crises, terrorism, arms control, and drug trafficking.
  • It does not have a formal constitution or a fixed headquarters. The decisions taken by leaders during annual summits are non-binding.
  • Canada joined the group in 1976, and the European Union began attending in 1977.

Evolution of the G-7

  • When it started in 1975—with six members, Canada joining a year later—it represented about 70% of the world economy.
  • And it was a cosy club for tackling issues such as the response to oil shocks.
  • Now it accounts for about 40% of global gdp.
  • Since the global financial crisis of 2007-09 it has sometimes been overshadowed by the broader g20.
  • The G-7 became the G-8 in 1997 when Russia was invited to join.
  • In 2014, Russia was debarred after it took over Crimea.


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