Online economy needs direction: CBA chief

Speaking at the Australian Telecommunications User Group (ATUG) conference, Murray said it was critical that the Trade Practices Act (TPA) had a "global reference" that took into account national and international boundaries.

Murray said businesses were reluctant to commit to international ecommerce contracts because the TPA and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), which oversees the Act, had no policy on the formation of such contracts.

Responding to Murray's comments, ACCC Chairman Allan Fels, who also addressed the conference, said the Commission was not involved with the development of international ecommerce policy. Fels said the World Trade Organisation was currently working on "something of that nature".

Brendan Scott, senior lawyer and ebusiness specialist with Sydney law firm Gilbert & Tobin, said that although ecommerce would be something the TPA would "ultimately address", the online economy was a "global arrangement".

Scott said initially policies would have to be formulated at the "trade level", and a multi-lateral agreement would have to be reached before the introduction of any local regulations. He said it was up to organisations such as the WTO, the World Intellectual Property Organisation, and the United Nations to formulate policies regarding to online regulations.

Since May 1998, the WTO has had a temporary ban on international ecommerce tariffs. The organisation's last attempt to discuss a broad range of online issues was spectacularly thwarted by a web-inspired mass protest in Seattle in November last year.

In February, the federal government made an initial step towards the adoption of an international ecommerce treaty, signing a "joint ecommerce agreement" with Canada, which included the need to establish "a clear legal framework for the information economy and ecommerce".

One thing most countries have established is their stance on net tariffs. Australia, and countries such as Canada, the US, Japan, and a majority of Europe, are pushing to make the WTO's ecommerce tariff ban permanent. However, developing nations from Asia and Africa want to tax what they see as their first bite at the new economic cherry.

Join the newsletter!

Or
Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

David Smedley

PC World
Show Comments

Essentials

Mobile

Sansai 6-Outlet Power Board + 4-Port USB Charging Station

Learn more >

Victorinox Werks Professional Executive 17 Laptop Case

Learn more >

Exec

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?