Business / Hangzhou G20

G20 Digital Economy Development and Cooperation Initiative delivered at 2016 Hangzhou Summit renews impetus to global economy

( Updated: 2016-09-28 15:31

In order to cope with the slowing growth and flagging recovery of the global economy and boost global market confidence, during China's presidency in 2016, digital economy was put high on the agenda for the first time, as part of the G20 Blueprint on Innovative Growth. The 2016 G20 Hangzhou Summit, held from September 4th to 5th, passed the G20 Digital Economy Development and Cooperation Initiative (hereinafter referred to as the Digital Economy Initiative). This is the first digital economy policy document that was endorsed by G20 leaders,which tightly seized the historical chances of the digitization, provided the new direction, solution and prospect for the regeneration of the world economy.

As the Chair of Digital Economy, China set up G20 Digital Economy Task Force (DETF), which co-chaired by the United States of America and South Africa. Led by Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC), DETF consisted of officials and experts from G20 members, guest countries, and international organizations. In the spirit of open, transparent and inclusiveness, CAC cooperated closely with DETF members. With six months' hard working, after more than 30 conferences, including vide-conferences and face-to-face conferences, nearly a thousand e-mail exchanges, more than 10 rounds of draft circulation, DETF members finally reached consensus on Digital Economy Initiative, which was widely welcomed and highly praised by all.

Digital Economy Initiative outlined the concept, meaning, guiding principles and key areas of digital economy. The proposed seven guiding principles are innovation, partnership, synergy, flexibility, inclusion, open and enabling business environment, flow of information for economic growth, trust and security. The Digital Economy Initiative identifies six key areas for cooperation in digital economy, including: expand broadband access and improve quality; promote investment in the ICT sector; support entrepreneurship and promote digital transformation; encourage e-commerce cooperation; enhance digital inclusion and promote development of MSMEs. It also encourages G20 members to strengthen cooperation in policy making and regulation on intellectual property, the promotion of cooperation with respect to independent choice of development path, transparent digital economy policy-making, the development and use of international standards, strengthening confidence and trust, and managing radiofrequency spectrum to promote innovation. In the future, the G20 members agree to continue to work closely to encourage multi-level exchanges about experience on policy making and legislation, share best practices among members, encourage training and research cooperation, and interact with international organizations and other engagement group to promote a sound digital economy.

Nowadays, with the rapid development and convergence of ICT, digital economy is experiencing high growth, rapid innovation and broad application, is increasingly becoming an important driver for global economic recovery and growth, and plays a significant role for expanding economic development, accelerating the transformation and upgrading of traditional industries, promoting sustainable economic development, improving social governance and public service, and driving innovation.

Recognizing the importance of digital economy and digital innovation, the United States of America, the European Union, Germany, the United Kingdom, Australia and many other countries and regions all prioritize the development of digital economy. Some G20 members introduced national digital economy strategies and digital agendas, etc. to promote its development. International organizations such as World Bank, OECD and WTO also showed great interest in digital economy development by closely tracking the developments and publishing latest reports. Digital economy is increasingly becoming a hot topic globally.

Chinese government attaches great importance to the development of digital economy. Through Internet Power Strategy, National IT development Strategy, National Big Data Strategy, "Internet plus" Action Plan and series of e-commerce strategies and operations, innovation and development of digital economy is further promoted. Digital economy in China has shown a good momentum of development—wider coverage of information infrastructure facilities, global leading position of its information industry, booming Internet economy, and a number of leading international Internet companies. China had 710 million Internet users and 4.54 million websites by the end of June, 2016. Internet has been involved deeply into the economic and social development and people's lives. In 2015, China's total e-commerce transaction value was over 20 trillion yuan. Online trade volumes reached 3.88 trillion, with an increase of 33.3 percent.

G20 Digital Economy Development and Cooperation Initiative is the consensus of all parties based on development practices and renewed philosophy of digital economy, pointing out a direction which is fully in line with the trend of historical development, and offering an international solution to help the world economy out of the woods and to realize the innovative, vital, strong, sustained, balanced and inclusive growth. It is believed that greater innovation and cooperation of digital economy will inject new impetus to the economic growth of all countries, and accordingly, bring new vitality to the world economy and benefits of the development of digital economy to all people around the world.

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