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A Roadmap for Digitalisation:
Policies for a Digital Future

Annex paper 1 to the Declaration of the Ministers responsible for the Digital Economy
April 7, 2017, Düsseldorf

Two years ago, in Antalya, G20 Leaders took note that we are living in a digital age and the effective use of digital technologies is an important driver for efficiency-enhancing and economic structural optimisation. In 2016, in Hangzhou, G20 countries agreed to the G20 Digital Economy Development and Cooperation Initiative which proposed some common understanding, principles and key areas of development and cooperation for the digital economy. In Düsseldorf, the G20 Task Force on the digital Economy has furthered the G20 Blueprint on Innovative Growth, Ministers responsible for the digital economy welcome and discussed this work plan for the G20 on digitalisation. A ROADMAP for Digitalisation: Policies for a Digital Future will build on the great work already done and deliver on areas G20 countries have identified as key areas. A study of the OECD "Key Issues for Digital Transformation in the G20" has been presented in the Ministerial Meeting.

1. Improve world-wide access, adoption and effective use of digital technologies for all

The growth of the digital economy has enabled the rapid spread and uptake of digital technologies, however adoption and use varies among G20 countries by demographic categories, level of economic development, industry and firm size.

The G20 Ministers responsible for the digital economy intend to:

2. Expand digital infrastructure

G20 countries encourage continual investment in the development of digital infrastructures to meet existing and future demand, and help bridge digital divides.

The G20 Ministers responsible for the digital economy intend to:

3. Adapting policies in an increasingly digital and information and knowledge driven global economy

Digitalisation affects many aspects of the economy and society. Policy formulation will require coordination across government ministries and among different levels of government as well as participation of all interested parties and stakeholders.

The G20 Ministers responsible for the digital economy intend to:

4. Foster competition in the digital economy

Digitalisation creates new opportunities to increase consumer choice and provide innovative new products and services. The lines between offline and online business models are becoming increasingly blurred, and there are new competitive dynamics.

The G20 Ministers responsible for the digital economy intend to:

5. Support MSMEs in reaping the benefits of digitalisation and addressing the challenges

It is important to foster the use of advanced digital technologies among MSMEs, however their ability to swiftly adopt new technologies, to learn by doing, to innovate, and to optimise their production can be constrained by their small scale, and lack of resources limiting their ability to reap the benefits of the digital economy.

The G20 Ministers responsible for the digital economy intend to:

6. Encourage continued development of the IoT and the digitalisation of production

G20 countries can share good practices and identify areas of further cooperation on how to encourage the development of IoT and an efficient digitalisation of production.

The G20 Ministers responsible for the digital economy intend to:

7. Enable all people to adapt to and excel in the digital economy and society

Digital skills are increasingly a precondition for participating in modern economic, social, cultural, political and civic life. In order to better prepare our citizens for the opportunities and challenges of globalisation and the digital revolution we need to ensure that everyone can benefit and adapt to new occupations and skills needs.

The G20 Ministers responsible for the digital economy intend to:

8. Strengthen trust in the digital economy

Trust and security are fundamental to the functioning of the digital economy; without them, uptake of digital technologies may be limited, undermining an important source of potential growth and social progress.

The G20 Ministers responsible for the digital economy intend to:

9. Promote consumer protection online

Despite the steady increase of business-to-consumer e-commerce, there remains considerable untapped potential. Consumer protection is of great importance to promote inclusive growth built on adequate and effective intellectual property rights protection and enforcement are essential to building the trust needed to further develop these markets for the benefit of consumers and businesses alike.

The G20 Ministers responsible for the digital economy intend to:

10. Measuring the digital economy

Underpinning our success is the ability to know what progress we have made which also means improving measurement of the digital economy, because robust statistics are the foundation on which good, evidence-based policy advice is based.

The G20 Ministers responsible for the digital economy intend to:

11. Bridging the Digital Gender Divide

Digitalisation has created new avenues for the economic empowerment of women. However, G20 countries are concerned that the benefits of digitalisation are not being equitably shared by women.

Depending on geographic and social conditions, women experience higher access barriers to technologies and digital financial services. Women also face skills, participation and leadership gaps which prevent them from fully participating in the digital economy.

To support the equitable participation of women in the digital economy, G20 Ministers responsible for the digital economy intend to:

  • Support initiatives to develop digital financial services that are accessible and appropriate for women.
  • Encourage the review of existing digital strategies to ensure they incorporate a gender perspective that addresses women's needs, circumstances, capabilities and preferences; and mainstream gender impact analysis.
  • Increase female participation in STEM education and employment.
  • Explore opportunities for developing metrics that capture gender disaggregated data where possible on the level of access, use and benefits.
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    [1] G20 Leaders' Communique Hangzhou Summit – Para 39 … "We endorse the Global Infrastructure Connectivity Alliance launched this year to enhance the synergy and cooperation among various infrastructure connectivity programs in a holistic way. We ask the WBG to serve as the Secretariat of the Alliance, working closely with the Global Infrastructure Hub (GIH), OECD, other MDBs, and interested G20 members to support its activities." …

    [2] The end of the sentence was taken from the UN's website on the SDGs

    Digital skills in vocational education and training

    Annex paper 2 to the Declaration of the Ministers responsible for the Digital Economy

    Düsseldorf, 7 April 2017

    Digital skills and competencies are driving forces of innovation and competitiveness of G20 economies and partner countries. Digitalisation is changing some occupational fields and professions as requirements to employees' qualifications evolve. Thus, digital literacy and digital skills should be elements of all forms of education and professional training over the life cycle. Starting from early education to vocational and university education to life-long learning – the acquisition of digital skills is essential in all these periods, especially in the transition from job to job. In particular, learning digital skills in vocational education and on-the-job training potentially increases employability and reduces the vulnerability to job loss due to changing task requirements. G20 recall the Digital Economy Development and Cooperation Initiative concluded in Hangzhou, China. In this regard, digital inclusion and the use of digital technology to enhance inclusion should remain key elements of promoting the digital economy in which no one is left behind.

    As stated in the G20 Initiative to Promote Quality Apprenticeship, vocational education and training are important as they enhance the skills of the workforce. The close link between theory and practice in apprenticeship programs as well as during on-the-job-training can help to promote digitalisation in G20 economies and partner economies. Teaching apprentices digital skills and the use of digital media promotes the dissemination of up-to date knowledge on digitalisation in an enterprise. Apprentices can immediately apply their knowledge and induce spill-over effects to other employees. Vice versa, a skilled worker who is committed to digital on-the-job-training can help apprentices and other staff in their company to adjust to digitalisation. To address the lack of digitally skilled labour on a global level, there is an increasing need to support developing and emerging economies to design quality labour-market oriented vocational education and training.

    Promotion of digital literacy, high quality education and acquisition of digital skills will help diminish digital divides between and within countries. Also, it will foster occupational and social participation in an increasingly digitised world and promote inclusive growth. In addition, it can contribute to digital capacity building within governments, as an efficient government needs a capable workforce. Science, technology engineering and mathematics (STEM)-skills are critical enablers of active participation in the digital economy, especially for women whose participation and graduation rates in those fields are below those of men in many countries. Lawful access to and effective use of digital technologies has the potential to benefit disadvantaged or underrepresented groups[1] as well as foster their social and economic empowerment. Improving their digital skills will help increase their employment prospects and their participation as users, employees, entrepreneurs, innovators and leaders of the global digital economy. In addition, digital technologies offer advantages to teach and develop skills among communities that are displaced by natural and/or human driven disasters. Further, participation in work by persons with disabilities could be facilitated by accessible digital technologies and training.

    Building on the G20 Initiative to Promote Quality Apprenticeship, we intend to undertake the following actions, especially targeting disadvantaged or underrepresented groups, and as appropriate to national circumstances by:

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    [1] These groups may include for example: poorest citizens, citizens from low-density and remote areas, seniors women and girls, persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples and other vulnerable groups.

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    Source: Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Energie

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