“Digital Economy: The Driver for Growth”, an introduction to a suite of 2015 initiatives on Digital Economy from the Global Business Coalition to raise awareness among global leaders.

“Digital Economy: The Driver for Growth”, an introduction to a suite of 2015 initiatives on Digital Economy from the B20 Coalition (now known as the Global Business Coalition) to raise awareness among global leaders about the potential of rapidly accelerating digital technologies and to provide guidance for policy makers.

Ahead of the OECD Global Forum taking place in Paris on June 2nd & 3rd, the B20 Coalition is launching a series of initiatives highlighting a critical issue of our time – how to unlock the colossal potential of the Digital Economy for the benefit of the maximum number of the world’s citizens.

The Coalition, which brings together leading independent business organizations and industry associations from G20 countries and represents 6.8 million businesses, acknowledges that Information and Communications Technology (ICT) has become pivotal for the G20 economies, presenting a multitude of socio-economic opportunities for both the public and the private sectors.

Indeed, the B20 Coalition emphasizes that, as the Digital Economy is in essence borderless, it can only effectively be addressed globally in a forum such as the G20. The Hon. Perrin Beatty, President of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and President of the B20 Coalition said, “As a cross-cutting theme and facilitator of growth in almost every sector, Digital Economy impacts almost all of the areas of focus for the business community within the G20 process – notably, Trade, Infrastructure and Investment, Financing Growth, Employment, Anti-corruption, SMEs and Entrepreneurship.”

In the paper introducing its initiative, Digital Economy – The Driver for Growth, the Coalition recognizes digitalization as a key driver in fostering global integration; innovation and development for cost saving; development of new business models; creation of new jobs; reducing uncertainties and risks in production; increasing consumer choices and transparency in pricing; promoting competition; increasing efficiency of public services and global productivity of all sectors; promoting economic growth; simplifying fiscal fulfilments; positively impacting sustainability and the environment and improving quality of life.

However, Perrin Beatty notes that “There are growing concerns about the speed at which digital technologies are changing the way we do business and interact with each other. It is therefore important that we address the misgivings of some consumers, businesses and public administrators towards digital goods and digital services.”

“The increasing adoption of digital technologies by business is a huge force for economic growth, but we should be mindful of the need to manage its disruptive effects,” he added.

The B20 Coalition calls upon businesses, entrepreneurs, investors and governments to work together to help G20 economies create standards for the Digital Economy to ensure that its potential as an imminent tool for sustainable development across the globe is realized.

To achieve these objectives, the Coalition has identified eight key areas for implementing a global digital agenda and proposes recommendations accordingly. These areas include:

  • Safeguarding Creativity and Innovation
  • Broadening the Knowledge and Skill Horizon
  • Building Multi-tier Technology Systems for SMEs
  • Facilitating Investment and Infrastructure
  • Securing the Digital Environment
  • Expanding the Borders
  • Addressing Taxation Issues
  • Legislating in a Digital World

The B20 Coalition has made the Digital Economy its priority for 2015 and has identified three areas of action to start with: IT Security – because it is one of the biggest concerns in implementing the digital agenda; Global Standards – because in an increasingly interconnected world the base cannot be built upon without common standards and Smart Cities – because our future lies in making our cities more sustainable, efficient and responsive.

To download the Position Paper – click here

Image: Fotosearch