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G7 countries reach breakthrough on digital trade and data

10/22/2021 | 12:22pm EST

LONDON, Oct 22 (Reuters) - The Group of Seven wealthy nations agreed on a joint set of principles to govern cross-border data use and digital trade, Britain said in what was described as a breakthrough that could liberalise hundreds of billions of pounds of trade.

Trade ministers from the G7 reached agreement at a meeting in London on Friday.

The deal sets out a middle ground between highly regulated data protection regimes used in European countries and the more open approach of the United States.

"We oppose digital protectionism and authoritarianism and today we have adopted the G7 Digital Trade Principles that will guide the G7's approach to digital trade," the communique published by Britain said.

The principles covered open digital markets; cross border data flows; safeguards for workers, consumers, and businesses; digital trading systems; and fair and inclusive global governance, the communique said .

"We should address unjustified obstacles to cross-border data flows, while continuing to address privacy, data protection, the protection of intellectual property rights, and security," an annex document said.

A British official with knowledge of the deal said: "This agreement is a genuine breakthrough that is the result of hard diplomatic graft.

"All of us rely on digital trade every day, but for years the global rules of the game have been a wild west that have made it difficult for businesses to seize the immense opportunities on offer." (Reporting by William James Editing by William Schomberg)


ę Reuters 2021
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