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Australia Joins Canada in E-Commerce Push

Australia and Canada will embark on a common legal and policy framework for global e-commerce directions, according to a joint statement released by the governments.

These principles aim to enhance international cooperation in developing e-commerce. They will also "ensure that the global environment for e-commerce recognises the special opportunities and challenges we share in the Asia-Pacific region," according to Minister for Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts (DCITA), Senator Richard Alston.

Australia has partnered with Canada in this push as the countries have similar outlooks to the world, and are at similar rates of development in the information technology space, said Alston.

The statement is a joint commitment to improving international protections for intellectual property, privacy and consumer rights.

The countries have also established common approaches to taxes and tariffs, content transmission, competitive communications infrastructure and the role of government as catalysts of e-commerce.

With this statement, Australia and Canada aim to develop a dialogue between on e-commerce issues, and between the governments, businesses and consumers.

"The governments of Australia and Canada are serious about developing commercial cooperation and linkages between Australian and Canadian firms involved in e-commerce and the information economy," Alston said.

"Governments recognise that whether action is domestic or regional, private or public sector - all e-commerce policies and activities will have limited impact unless they facilitate a global approach," the countries declared in the joint statement.

Within the statement, the Australian and Canadian governments also maintained that the private sector should lead in stimulating e-commerce growth through investment and innovation in products and services.

It added that private business should work with governments and the community to ensure domestic and international practices facilitate consumer confidence.

Both governments will work through several international organisations devoted to e-commerce development and intellectual property rights to reach their goals on a global level.