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Global ICT Industry agree to enhance joint efforts to tackle Forced Localization Measures

On October 8, 2014, information communications technology (ICT) industry representatives and governments from Japan, the United States, and Europe held a meeting to discuss problematic policies known as “Forced Localization Measures.” Dozens of representatives from some of the world’s leading technology companies gathered in Tokyo to discuss the challenge of forced localization measures, which harm and fragment the global technology industry and undermine economic growth and job creation.

The meeting was organized by the Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association (JEITA), the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI), and DIGITALEUROPE, and built upon an existing foundation of strong partnership on the issue.

A number of governments have begun implementing forced localization measures designed to boost their domestic manufacturing, high-technology and R&D capabilities, and services by discriminating against foreign companies. These measures include troubling provisions, including mandatory technology transfer requirements, local sourcing requirements in government and private sector procurements, disclosure of source code and other sensitive design elements, import restrictions, and restrictions on the flow of data, namely, data localization requirements. Forced localization policies have emerged in important emerging markets around the world and are proliferating at a rapid pace.

JEITA, ITI, and DIGITALEUROPE shared their efforts to prevent and tackle these forced localization measures and agreed to enhance coordination by enhancing policy communication, dialogue, and joint action. This commitment complements their pledge to work closely with all three governments to support the fight against forced localization and to ensure the continued growth of the global economy.

Particularly, recognizing that data localization requirements have serious impacts on the growth of the global economy, JEITA, ITI, and DIGITALEUROPE adopted the Tokyo resolution on combatting these new types of forced localization measures while protecting users’ privacy and security.

Finally, JEITA, ITI, and DIGITALEUROPE agreed to share and update information on forced localization measures, including data localization requirements, and, utilizing such information and this resolution, to approach national governments, multilateral fora, and other global coalitions in their respective regions.

Further, JEITA, ITI, and DIGITALEUROPE agreed that data localization requirements have a serious impact not only on the ICT industry but on other sectors as well given the broad nature of the data economy, and decided to reach out to such sectors and other stakeholders in an effort to raise awareness of this problem.

Public Policy Tags: Trade & Investment, Forced Localization