International tariffs on IT trade should start to disappear from 1 July.
The 41 countries that have previously agreed in principle to remove trading barriers, under the auspices of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), are expected to sign an agreement shortly, stating their intention to begin implementing the free trade policy on 1 July 1997.
The proposals will then be considered by a WTO committee next month.
Last December a group of 28 countries - including the US, UK and Malaysia - agreed to remove tariffs on IT goods such as computers, telecomms products, semiconductors, chip manufacturing equipment, software, and scientific equipment. The group was joined by nine more countries earlier this month, including New Zealand, Romania, Costa Rica and Israel.
The addition of the latest supporters brings the area covered by the agreement over the 90 per cent threshold stipulated at the original meeting in December.
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