Digital technologies hold enormous potential for businesses to access the global marketplace, improve efficiency, and boost productivity and customisation. But their application – for renewable energy, inclusive education and personalised healthcare – is equally critical to achieving the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
To leverage digital technologies effectively and appropriately, businesses all over the world, of every size and covering all sectors, are dependent on appropriate information communication technology (ICT) infrastructure, supported by policies that do not prevent innovative uses of new technologies.
It’s becoming increasingly important that policymakers create a facilitating environment for smart manufacturing, digital transformation of production, the Industrial Internet and foundation technologies like data analytics and cloud computing services.
Here are three activities coming up this week that we think businesses everywhere should know about:
1. Digital technologies are driving sustainable economic development in developing countries
The Internet and emerging technologies are critical in delivering societal benefits to developing and developed countries. India is putting its digital agenda into play and acknowledging the importance of the private sector as a resource for expertise and insight from within the country and externally.
On the 4-5 April experts from 16 countries will participate in the ICC Commission on the Digital Economy. The event, hosted by ICC India at the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) headquarters in New Delhi will feature specialist speakers and see in-depth exchange on a range of topics. These include global developments on cross-border data flows, cybersecurity, data protection, Internet policies and governance; and emerging technology and development.
As well as working to advance established global business policy positions on these issues participants will examine the complex calendar of related events and examine developments of those institutions taking up these topics.
Held back-to-back with India’s Internet Conference on Digital India 4 SDGs taking place on 5-6 April, the meeting will also include a side discussion with Amitabh Kant the government architect for Digital India.
2. The impacts of digital technologies are cross-cutting all sectors and services
At ICC, we believe that digitalisation is just as critical to the innovation, growth and success of business sectors that use data and technology as it is to the ICT sector providing solutions. Taking place this week in Jakarta from 3-7 April, the ICC Banking Commission annual meeting will focus discussions under the theme “The Future of Trade Finance: Traditional, Technological and Transformational”. As the impacts of blockchain, using technology to create a distributed ledger – and its application to digital currency, known as bitcoin – impact the banking sector, the meeting is a major chance to examine the opportunities and challenges ahead.
3. Governments are stepping up to the table
Given that digitalisation cross-cuts many G20 priority issues, 2017 marks the year the Business-20 (B20) took-up a task force on the topic. On 6-7 April, the G20 will hold a Digital Ministers meeting alongside which the G20 Presidency is set to host a multistakeholder conference. ICC members have played an active role in developing input into the G20 policy-making process. As a partner to the B20, ICC calls on governments to consult the private sector to ensure a regulatory framework that promotes investment and demand for ICT infrastructure, efficiently manages spectrum, and encourages an open, unfragmented Internet. Such action would enable governments to harness the potential of digitalisation to reap the full societal and economic benefits it can deliver when framed by informed, inclusive policy-making.