In the run-up to the meeting of the G20 digital ministers, the OECD joined with the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK) to host a conference entitled ‘Key Issues for Digital Transformation in the G20’, held in Berlin on 12 January 2017. At this conference, a study entitled ‘Key Issues for Digital Transformation in the G20’ (PDF, 8 MB) was presented. The study – which had been conducted by the OECD on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action – highlights the importance of adopting policies that promote fair competition, trust in the digital economy and access to digital technologies and the knowledge that is necessary to use them. Using the study as a basis, some 300 participants from the G20 countries developed and discussed policy recommendations and measures with a view to ensuring that all people benefit from the opportunities held by digitalisation. The primary outcomes from the conference were later fed into the G20 Digital Ministers’ Meeting.
Identifying key fields of action and a pathway for the future
In order to build upon this work, the digital ministers from the G20 and a number of guest countries (including Spain, Norway, the Netherlands and Singapore) convened in Düsseldorf for a conference entitled ‘Digitalisation: Policies for a Digital Future’. The conference focused on three areas:
- Shaping digitisation at a global level – harnessing the potential for growth and employment
The digital transformation comes not only with opportunities, but also with challenges – challenges which the members of the G20 want to look at and address together. It is important to use digitalisation to foster global growth. This means that existing barriers need to be identified and new solutions developed for the years ahead.
- Digital networking for industrial value creation – developing international standards
Twenty-first century industry is global; companies around the world are connected with one another via the internet. There is an urgent need for international harmonisation of standards, which will ensure interoperability between different systems.
- Creating transparency – enhancing trust in the digital world
In order to harness the full potential of digitalisation and the internet, transparency and trust are essential – for consumers and companies alike.
The G20 Digital Ministers’ Meeting ended with the adoption of a ministerial declaration and a roadmap (PDF, 427 KB) setting out eleven key fields of digital policy and a specific pathway for the future work of the G20. Important challenges include providing high-speed internet for all by 2025, creating inclusive growth and new jobs through digital trade, promoting lifelong digital learning, and closing the gender gap.
Continuing the success of the digital policy dialogue
From 23 to 24 October 2017, the G20 members and guest countries met with representatives of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in Hamburg to discuss specific steps in which the roadmap could be implemented. The conclusions were fed into a report of around 120 pages presenting examples of how the roadmap is being implemented by the G20 countries, guest countries and international organisations.
By engaging in close dialogue on new digital policy measures and best practices, the G20 group can find solutions more easily and highlight the deficits and the problems that occur in driving forward digitalisation. Since 1 December 2017, the G20 presidency has been held by Argentina. Under the Argentinian presidency, the priorities set out in the roadmap will be further built upon, and the dialogue will be continued. The next Digital Ministers’ Meeting is expected to take place in autumn 2018.