Building local digital economy in the context of international standards

Key stakeholders in digital trade such as banks, telecommunication providers, education institutions and small businesses have convened to discuss how to use international standards to boost digital trade

They talked about challenges that small businesses are facing with digital technologies and how to overcome them. Discussions also focused on creating an enabling environment for new digital trade opportunities.

The round-table was part of the Indo-Pacific Digital Trade Standardization, a three-year initiative between the governments of Australia and Vanuatu to build the local digital economy.

Standard Australia (SA) as the National Standards Body of Australia is collaborating with the newly formed Vanuatu Bureau of Standards (VBS) to implement the program in Vanuatu.

SA’s International Engagement Manager, Torrin Marquardt, said adopting and using international standards will bring benefits for businesses and will also address consumer’s confidence in products.

“Digital trade is much more than just e-commerce. It’s having a wide range of impacts in key economy sectors as agriculture, health and education.

“Adopting international standards will set Vanuatu up as a competitor on the global market. It will open up new opportunities for digital trade and harmonization in the region when it comes to international standards.

“Knowing that Vanuatu follows a standard that is accepted around the world gives confidence gives regional and global partners confidence in conducting trade with Vanuatu.

“What we have learnt from the round-table discussions is that there are challenges with trust around digital technologies and that the situation is quite a small representation of Vanuatu as a whole,” she said.

The Indo-Pacific Digital Trade Standardisation Program will strengthen the capacity of the VBS as the National Standards Body to play a more proactive role in supporting the local economy integration into the global trading system

The second phase of the program will focus on identifying the international standards that will help facilitate trade in Vanuatu, said Marquardt.

Source: Vanuatu Daily Post

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