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A Data Security Expert Group was set up by the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MEITY) to resolve the Information Technology and Information Technology Enabled Services (IT/ ITES) business issues relating to Data adequacy/ security with the European Union (EU) and to have meaningful market access for Indian IT/ITES companies. Further, a meeting of the India-EU Joint Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Working Group, which is also led by MEITY, along with ICT Business Dialogue and Workshop on General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), was held during 20th-21st March, 2018 to discuss issues including data adequacy, movement of data, mobility of IT experts in EU countries etc.
In February, 2017, India tabled a proposal on ‘Trade Facilitation Agreement for Services’ (TFS) in the World Trade Organisation (WTO). The proposal, inter-alia, contained a provision on ‘facilitating cross border flow of information’ with respect to commitments on cross border supply of services. Further, at the Eleventh WTO Ministerial Conference (MC11) in December 2017, Members reaffirmed the WTO Work Programme on Electronic Commerce which has an exploratory and non-negotiating mandate. However, on the margins of the MC11, Ministers representing 71 WTO members issued a Joint Statement on Electronic Commerce to initiate exploratory work towards future WTO negotiations on trade-related aspects of electronic commerce. Since India is a proponent of a non-negotiating Work Programme on Electronic Commerce, India has not joined discussions on cross border data flow in the WTO. Also wherever relevant, this issue has been discussed in Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations with different countries.
This information was given by the Minister of State of Commerce and Industry, C. R. Chaudhary, in written replies in the Lok Sabha today.