G20 Ministerial Statement on Trade and Digital Economy

Proshare

Sunday, June 30, 2019  / 02:30PM / G20 / Header Image Credit: Bmwi

 

1. We, the G20 Trade Ministers and Digital Economy Ministers, met on 8 and 9 June 2019 in Tsukuba City, Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan, under the chairmanship of H.E. Mr. Hiroshige Seko, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, H.E. Mr. Masatoshi Ishida, Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications, and H.E. Mr. Taro Kono, Minister for Foreign Affairs, of the Government of Japan, to further strengthen G20 trade and digital economic policy cooperation. 

2. The G20 Ministerial Meeting on Trade and Digital Economy gathered all G20 members as well as guests from Chile as 2019 APEC host economy, Egypt on behalf of AU, Estonia (for Digital Economy), Netherlands, Nigeria (for Trade), Senegal on behalf of NEPAD, Singapore, Spain, and Viet Nam. International Organizations1 also participated in the Meeting. 

3. We discussed the need to do more to achieve our common objectives for global growth. International trade and investment should continue to be important engines of growth, productivity, innovation, job creation and development. 

4. Innovative digital technologies continue to bring immense economic opportunities. At the same time, they continue to create challenges. 

5. This Meeting, which gathered both Trade Ministers and Digital Economy Ministers together for the first time, presented an opportunity to deepen our understanding of the interface between trade and the digital economy. 

6. We discussed how we can work together toward the realization of a sustainable and innovative global society, by making full use of digital technologies, together with trade and investment, and harnessing the benefits of technological transformation and globalization, taking into consideration national needs, priorities and circumstances.

 

Digital Economy

 

Overview: Human-centered Future Society

7. We, G20 Ministers for the Digital Economy discussed how we can design and implement our digital policies to maximize benefits and minimize the challenges from the development of the digital economy, and to overcome challenges with special attention to developing countries and underrepresented populations. 

8. The G20 started the policy discussion on the digital economy under the Chinese Presidency in the Hangzhou Summit process in 2016, in which G20 members engaged in comprehensive discussion on digital economy, innovation and new industrial revolution. Germany established the first G20 Digital Economy Ministerial Meeting and created an overall perspective on digital policy with the G20 Roadmap on Digital Economy and the Ministerial Declaration. In 2018, Argentina focused on digital government, the digital gender divide, infrastructure deployment and the measurement of the digital economy, in addition to creating the G20 Repository of Digital Policies. The Digital Economy Ministers issued a declaration, which noted that it is essential to continue the work on further understanding of the market impact of emerging technologies and new business models, like online platforms and the need to advance a fair, predictable, transparent, competitive and non-discriminatory business environment. 

9. Recalling these discussions, we exchanged views on how to achieve an inclusive, sustainable, safe, trustworthy and innovative society through digitalization. We share the notion of a human-centered future society which is being promoted as Society 5.0 in Japan. Society 5.0 is a vision of human-centered future society promoted by the Japanese government to achieve an advanced society, which realizes economic growth and solves social challenges, by advancing towards Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through the increasing convergence of the physical world and the virtual world. 

10. Digitalization is expected to continue creating benefits for our economies and societies as a whole. The benefits brought by increased productivity through the use of emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), fifth-generation mobile telecommunication technologies (5G), the Internet of Things (IoT), Distributed Ledger Technologies (e.g. block chain) will empower all individuals and firms by creating new opportunities, and generate new services and employment, all of which can lead to greater well-being and further inclusiveness for individuals and firms. 

11. While digitalization has tremendous potential to deliver benefits to society, it also raises certain concerns. Digital divide should be addressed with a commitment to evidence-based policy approaches together with the efforts to improve the measurement of the digital economy that enable the widest possible adoption and use of innovative technology. We should come together to promote trust in the digital economy to harness the benefits brought by digitalization as well as to mitigate the associated challenges. 

12. The G20 also reaffirms its commitment to fighting exploitation of the Internet for violent extremist and terrorist purposes, as well as promoting a free, open and secure internet, and encourages the digital industry to continue to work together with all stakeholders in fighting use of the Internet and social media for violent extremist and terrorist purposes, and addressing content that incites terrorist acts. 

13. We share the view that the digital society must be built on trust among all stakeholders including governments, civil society, international organizations, academics and businesses through sharing common values and principles including equality, justice, transparency and accountability taking into account the global economy and interoperability. We note the views given at the G20 Digital Economy Multi-stakeholder Conference, and look forward to the multistakeholders discussion at the 14th United Nation’s Internet Governance Forum at the end of November 2019 in Berlin and the WSIS Forum at the end of March 2020 in Geneva. 

14. Building upon the commitments and achievements of previous years, we, as G20 Ministers, commit to sharing and promoting national experiences and international policies to maximize and share the benefits from digitalization of our economies and societies through the following efforts.

 

Data Free Flow with Trust

15. Reaffirming the commitments made in Hangzhou, Dusseldorf, and Salta, we share the understanding that digitalization gives us the opportunity to promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth. Digitalization also promotes social and cultural progress and development, fosters innovation, and empowers individuals and businesses, including micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) to benefit from emerging technologies and data. 

16. Cross-border flow of data, information, ideas and knowledge generates higher productivity, greater innovation, and improved sustainable development. At the same time, we recognize that the free flow of data raises certain challenges. By continuing to address challenges related to privacy, data protection, intellectual property rights, and security, we can further facilitate data free flow and strengthen consumer and business trust. In order to build trust and facilitate the free flow of data, it is necessary that legal frameworks both domestic and international should be respected. Such data free flow with trust will harness the opportunities of the digital economy. We will cooperate to encourage the interoperability of different frameworks, and we affirm the role of data for development.

 

Human-centered Artificial Intelligence (AI)

17. Recognizing the efforts undertaken so far by all stakeholders in their respective roles including governments, international organizations, academia, civil society and the private sector, and mindful of how technology impacts society, the G20 endeavors to provide an enabling environment for human-centered AI that promotes innovation and investment, with a particular focus on digital entrepreneurship, research and development, scaling up of startups in this area, and adoption of AI by MSMEs which face disproportionally higher costs to adopt AI. 

18. We recognize that AI technologies can help promote inclusive economic growth, bring great benefits to society, and empower individuals. The responsible development and use of AI can be a driving force to help advance the SDGs and to realize a sustainable and inclusive society, mitigating risks to wider societal values. The benefits brought by the responsible use of AI can improve the work environment and quality of life, and create potential for realizing a humancentered future society with opportunities for everyone, including women and girls as well as vulnerable groups. 

19. At the same time, we also recognize that AI, like other emerging technologies, may present societal challenges, including the transitions in the labor market, privacy, security, ethical issues, new digital divides and the need for AI capacity building. To foster public trust and confidence in AI technologies and fully realize their potential, we are committed to a human-centered approach to AI, guided by the G20 AI Principles drawn from the OECD Recommendation on AI, which are attached in Annex and are non-binding. This Annex includes the following principles of “inclusive growth, sustainable development and well-being”, “humancentered values and fairness”, “transparency and explainability”, “robustness, security and safety” and “accountability”. The Annex also offers guidance for consideration by policy makers with the purpose of maximizing and sharing the benefits from AI, while minimizing the risks and concerns, with special attention to international cooperation and inclusion of developing countries and underrepresented populations. 

20. In pursuing human-centered AI, G20 members recognize the need to continue to promote the protection of privacy and personal data consistent with applicable frameworks. The G20 also recognizes the need to promote AI capacity building and skills development. We will each continue to strive for international cooperation and endeavor to work together with appropriate fora in areas such as research and development, policy development and information sharing through the G20 Repository of Digital Policies and other open and collaborative efforts.

 

Governance Innovation - Agile and Flexible Policy Approaches in the Digital Economy

21. We recognize that harnessing the full potential of emerging technologies would benefit from more innovation enabling approaches to policy making than in the past. We will strive for innovation-friendly policies to capitalize the potential of digital technologies and look to remove barriers to innovation accordingly. 

22. We recognize that various countries have already taken steps with the intention of making policy approaches more flexible, holistic, and agile, for example through the use of regulatory sandboxes. Policies, regulations, or the removal of regulatory barriers can contribute to and accelerate economic growth, and inclusive development by developing countries as well as MSMEs. 

23. We recognize that governance in the digital era needs to be not only innovation-friendly but also innovative itself, while not losing legal certainty. Interoperable standards, frameworks and regulatory cooperation can help in this regard. International as well as national policy formulation with the involvement of all relevant stakeholders in their respective roles is instrumental to address a wide range of societal challenges and facilitate discussion on how technology can be better incorporated into policy tools. 

24. To adapt better policy approaches and guide technical innovation, we support the sharing of good practices between G20 countries, including by utilizing the G20 Repository of Digital Policies established under Argentina’s presidency. We note the work of relevant international organizations.

 

Security in the Digital Economy

25. Security in the digital economy is essential for strengthening our public’s confidence in digital technologies and the entire digital economy. We recognize the importance for governments and other stakeholders within their respective roles to address security gaps and vulnerabilities. These have a negative impact on digital innovations, and trust by consumers and businesses, and thus hinder us from taking full advantage of the benefits of digitalization. Security in the digital economy is also important for governments in providing their services. 

26. Along with the rapid expansion of emerging technologies, including IoT, the value of an ongoing discussion on security in the digital economy is growing. We, as G20 members, affirm the need to further work on these urgent challenges. We recognize the global aspect of security in the digital economy together with the need to develop localized and customized frameworks and methodologies. Industry-led and market-led global technical standards, developed based upon principles of openness, transparency, and consensus help deliver interoperability. These promote trust, which is essential for enabling the benefits of the global digital economy. 

27. We recognize the need to raise awareness on the importance of actions to enhance security in the digital economy. We also recognize the role played by stakeholders such as private sector, the technical community and civil society, and relevant international organizations to further discuss those issues. We note relevant international organizations working on security in the digital economy within their existing mandates and efforts in security in the digital economy.

 

SDGs and Inclusion

[Tackling the Digital Divide and Promoting Digitalization]

28. Digital Infrastructure We recognize that improved connectivity and broadband access is a necessary condition for the development of the digital economy, as well as a powerful enabler of inclusive growth and sustainable development. Therefore we support initiatives aimed at the promotion of investment in domestic and international digital connectivity infrastructure, including fiber optic cables, 5G and other ultra-high-speed connectivity technologies, scaling-up the fiber optics infrastructure to avail fiber connectivity to a greater number of individuals and connectivity redundancy. We acknowledge the relevance of appropriate policy approaches that, while recognizing national circumstances, promote a pro-investment, fair, competitive, and non-discriminatory marketplace enhance the accessibility, affordability, quality and security of connectivity and digital services, and increase access to digital economic growth. We encourage the G20 common goal of promoting universal and affordable access to the Internet by all people by 2025. G20 members also encourage promoting connectivity in rural areas for rural prosperity with a particular focus on poverty eradication and distance learning. 

29. Digital Literacy The digital divide recently is no longer just about access to technology, it is also about having the right skills and knowledge to use it. Possessing the right skills and knowledge as well as creating consumer oriented digital environment has a direct impact on the ability of people to reap the benefits of digitalization for their personal and professional life. We encourage G20 countries to promote digital literacy strategies with a special focus on vulnerable groups and for labor market transformation. 

30. Bridging the Digital Gender Divide We reconfirm the importance of bridging the digital divide in ways such as development of skills for digital literacy, enhancing digital access and adopting digital technologies with special attention to the digital gender divide, while working towards the 25 by 25 goal that G20 members committed to in Brisbane, and to people who are living in remote areas as discussed in earlier DETFs under the German and Argentinian presidencies. With our continuous support of EQUALS and G20 #eSkills4girls initiative, we reaffirm that the participation of women and girls in the digital economy supports stronger economic growth, innovation, and inclusiveness and enhances societal well-being. We further encourage G20 countries to take actions to bridge the digital gender divide, including through the development of frameworks to measure and track sex-disaggregated data, and to make efforts to increase women’s access to digital networks while addressing abuse and violent online behavior toward women, enhance women and girls’ participation in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), support women’s entrepreneurship in digital business and work within existing partnerships and frameworks. Technology should be accessible for all. The G20 could explore using the existing G20 Toolkit for Measuring Digital Economy to add indicators on women in digital. 

31. Inclusion of MSMEs and Entrepreneurs

MSMEs and entrepreneurs are important drivers of innovation and the digital economy. Facilitative environment in which MSMEs can actively take part in the digital economy, including by using leapfrog technologies, are helpful to create an inclusive and sustainable society. The G20 will seek to exchange and share practices on the promotion and scale up of digital entrepreneurship. 

32. Inclusive Design for people at all ages /Persons with disabilities

In addition to an approach where people develop additional skills to use digital technology, we acknowledge that digital technology, should be user-friendly and human-centered, and should be designed for use by a diverse group of persons, including persons with disabilities, older persons, or those with lower digital skills. For example, the use of new digital interfaces such as sensors and VUI (Voice User Interface) could support inclusion of persons with disabilities and older persons. 

33. Digital transformation of industries

Digitalization can contribute to economic growth and social development in a variety of sectors. Manufacturing, which is one of the most crucial industries in the global economy, is becoming more digitalized, networked and intelligent. The G20 will share good practices and experiences regarding digital industrial policy with a view to promoting high quality inclusive development of all sectors including manufacturing sector, and take actions to create a favorable environment globally. 

34. Smart Cities

To contribute to sustainable and inclusive growth in urban areas where most of the world’s population and energy consumption are concentrated, the G20 encourages networking and experience-sharing among cities for the development of smart cities, recommended by the Business 20 and the Urban 20. Implementations of smart cities should take into account transparency, resiliency, privacy, security, efficiency, and interoperability. Cities and networks of cities that express an interest may join a Global Smart City Coalition, which has been proposed to be established in October. The G20 notes the upcoming "Super City/Smart City Forum" planned to be held on 29th of June in Osaka.

 

Plan for action towards SDGs through digitalization

35. In order to share the benefits of digitalization globally to contribute to the implementation of the G20 action plan on the 2030 agenda on sustainable development and leave no one behind, we will endeavor to share good practices and lessons learnt from their experiences in solving social problems by using the G20 Repository of Digital Policies. 

36. We encourage all stakeholders in their respective roles to work together in facilitating digitalization in developing countries and regions, as well as globally, by making use of good practices and knowledge-sharing. For this objective, all G20 members and other interested countries are invited to discuss how to make use of good practices and knowledge and to set actions into motion to collaborate, cooperate and support the efforts for digitalization, including advance progress towards SDGs in developing countries and regions. We consider that digital governance is an essential leverage of prosperity, social inclusion and environmental sustainability with measurable results. We note the work of the Development Working Group for the Guiding Principles for the Development of Science, Technology, and Innovation for SDGs Roadmaps. We are committed to capacity-building around the world as a vehicle for implementing SDGs. 

37. The knowledge sharing activity will be supported by the World Bank and other relevant international organizations, within their existing mandates and core competencies and managed by interested G20 members and other interested countries.

 

Way Forward

38. We will continue to work toward a human-centric future society, and emphasize the importance of working with all interested parties and stakeholders in sharing good practices and experiences, including inclusive digital economy business models, in digitalization to advance globally inclusive development of digital society. 

39. We recognize the role and contributions of the G20 engagement groups and other civil society 8 groups in the G20 process. We thank International Organizations, including the APT, ERIA, IMF, ITU, OECD, UNCTAD, WB, and WTO for contributing their expertise to the work of the G20 DETF and welcome their efforts to maximize the positive impact of the digital economy.

 

Trade


Dialogue on Trade Developments 

40. We, the G20 Trade Ministers, exchanged views on the current trade environment. We agree that expanding trade and investment will be important factors to promote future widespread economic prosperity and sustainable growth. 

41. We note that trade and investment growth slowed in 2018 and that this is contributing to a weaker global growth outlook for 2019-20 than previously projected. While growth is expected to increase in 2020, downside risks arising from the current trade environment could undermine this growth. 

42. We continued our dialogue to mitigate risks and enhance confidence among exporters and investors, as we committed to do in Mar del Plata last year. We affirmed the need to handle trade tensions and to foster mutually beneficial trade relations. 

43. We strive to realize a free, fair, non-discriminatory, transparent, predictable and stable trade and investment environment, to keep our markets open. 

44. International trade is important for productivity, innovation, job creation and development. We recognize the contributions that the WTO has made to this end. We agree that action is necessary to improve the functioning of the WTO. We recognize our business community's call for the G20 to continue supporting the multilateral trading system.

 

Sound Business Environment that Promotes Market-Driven Investment Decisions

45. We reaffirm that structural problems in some sectors can cause a negative impact, especially as the global economy has become more integrated. We will strive to ensure a level playing field and foster an enabling business environment. 

46. Many members affirm the need to strengthen international rules on industrial subsidies and welcome ongoing international efforts to improve trade rules affecting agriculture. Many of us highlighted agricultural subsidies and agricultural market access. 

47. In order to foster an open, transparent and conducive global policy environment for investment, we recognize the value of improving open, non-discriminatory, transparent and predictable conditions for investment. 3. Promotion of Trade and Investment that Contribute to Sustainable and Inclusive Growth 

48. Trade and investment have contributed to widespread and sustainable global growth, inclusivity, poverty reduction and sustainable economic development. In particular, Global Value Chains are important features of the global economy, which can help shape trade, investment and development. 

49. There is recognition that the benefits of trade and investment have not been shared widely enough with all countries and all members of society, especially those who are vulnerable. We need to enhance the benefits of trade and broaden participation. We also need to better understand the effects of trade and investment, better communicate their benefits to our citizens, and address their challenges. 

50. We should promote, facilitate and increase the participation of groups that have not benefitted sufficiently from international trade, such as women, youth and MSMEs, while assisting them to seize the opportunities of international trade. We will continue to seek to enable enhanced participation by developing countries and MSMEs in Global Value Chains in increasingly meaningful ways. In this context, we recalled the discussion last year on key factors for G20 trade and investment policy-making options to support the participation and increase value addition in agro-food Global Value Chains. 

51. We take note of the “B20 Tokyo Summit Joint Recommendations: Society 5.0 for SDGs” as a voice of the business sector, while recognizing different national views on these proposals. 

52. We also take note of the adoption by the B20 of a “Business Voluntary Action Plan” which reflects views from the private sector and the intention of global businesses to strengthen efforts to jointly contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, through responsible business conduct. 

53. We shared information on business and policy examples that contribute to widespread and sustainable growth and inclusivity through trade and investment with the aim of learning from each other’s experiences, while acknowledging the different approaches of individual G20 Members, and noted the importance of the idea of Sanpoyoshi - benefitting the seller, the purchaser and society. These examples will be publicly available.

 

WTO reform and Recent Developments in Bilateral and Regional Trade Agreements

54. Building on the G20 Leaders’ declaration in Buenos Aires, we will work constructively with other WTO Members to undertake necessary WTO reform with a sense of urgency, including in the lead-up to the Twelfth WTO Ministerial Conference. 

55. We recognize the importance of transparency of the WTO Members’ trade related policies. We note ongoing initiatives on transparency and notifications with this purpose in mind. We confirm our commitment to fulfilling our existing notification obligations. 

56. We also note ongoing initiatives to strengthen the activities of the WTO regular committees and bodies in order to make the WTO function more effectively. 

57. We confirm the importance of the role of the WTO in generating opportunities and addressing various challenges. We reiterate our support for the work to agree on comprehensive and effective disciplines on fisheries subsidies as mandated in MC11. We also note some ongoing initiatives for updating WTO rules. 

58. We reaffirm the importance of the Work Programme on electronic commerce. 

59. We note the ongoing discussion under the Joint Statement Initiative on electronic commerce. 

60. Participants in the respective Joint Statement Initiatives under the WTO welcome the ongoing discussion and confirm their commitment to achieve progress. 

61. In order to share the benefits of digitalization worldwide, we recognize that there is a need to enhance investment in infrastructure focusing on ICT, including in developing countries, to facilitate their participation in the digital economy. We also acknowledge the need for capacity building for women, youth and MSMEs to benefit more from digitalization. To this end, we will continue our effort to harness and enhance the potential of trade and the digital economy. 

62. We recognize the complementary roles of bilateral and regional free trade agreements that are WTO-consistent. 

63. We agree that action is necessary regarding the functioning of the dispute settlement system consistent with the rules as negotiated by the WTO Members.

 

Interface between Trade and the Digital Economy

64. We, the G20 Trade Ministers and Digital Economy Ministers, recognizing the growing impact of digitalization on our societies and economies including in trade and commerce, reaffirmed the importance of the interface between trade and the digital economy as stated in the Buenos Aires Leaders’ declaration. We discussed related issues on the interface between trade and the digital economy. 

65. We exchanged views on various issues including the concept of data free flow with trust, WTO discussions on electronic commerce, and needs for capacity building, bearing in mind the importance of ensuring that all countries are able to realize their opportunities. Discussions should continue with a view to enhance the benefits of digitalization, which is transforming every aspect of our economies and societies, and can contribute to economic growth, job creation, inclusion, development and innovation.

 

Towards the Osaka Summit

66. With a view to deepening G20 cooperation in the area of Trade and Digital Economy, we jointly recommend our Leaders consider these important topics at the Osaka Summit.


Proshare Nigeria Pvt. Ltd.

 

Related News

1.      Singapore is Now Considering Virtual Banking Licenses Too—Here’s Why

2.      Let FinTech Play, Grow: Expectations From A Regulatory Sandbox For India

3.      South Africa Works On Policy As Fintech Gives Rise To Innovation

4.      FG To Review Nigeria’s National Cyber-Security Strategy - ONSA

5.      Spotify Goes To War With Apple

6.      UK Financial Conduct Authority Acts To Improve Competition In The Investment Platforms Market

7.      The New Frontier For AI—In China; At Least In Pig Farming

8.      Gladius Network Settles Unregistered ICO Charges After Self-Reporting To SEC

9.      FSA: Japan And France Sign Cooperation Frameworks Regarding Innovation In The Financial Sector

10.  Britain To Initiate ‘Digital Services Tax’ On Tech Giants From April 2020; Expects $512m Yearly

11.  SEC Sets Up Special Committee On Fintech For Capital Markets

12.  FintechNGR Kicks-off Fintech Knowledge Series For Regulators

13.  DFSA Joins Peers In Discussion On A Global Financial Innovation Network

14.  New Regulation Has Significantly Changed E-money Landscape In Indonesia

15.  New Rules For Credit Fintech Companies In Brazil

16.  CBN Issues Circular on Compliance with Cybercrime Act 2015

17.  CBN Issues Exposure Draft of the Risk-Based Cyber-Security for DMBs and PSPs

18.  EBA Publishes Opinion On Implementation Of The RTS On Customer Authentication And CSC

19.  Fintech Association Partners SEC On RoadMap For The Nigerian Capital Market

20.  The Nigerian Trading Online Report 2018 To Include Section on Regulatory Technology


Proshare Nigeria Pvt. Ltd.

READ MORE:
Related News
SCROLL TO TOP