Digital economy & Industry 4.0

Digital economy permeates all aspects of society such as the way people interact, technologies involved in advanced manufacturing and skills required for employability. All in all, it affects every aspect of the economic landscape.

To guarantee availability of key resources, to foster development of key enablers and to ensure a sustainable equitable and inclusive digitization, the business community draws the attention to the following government actions. The first recommendation refers to help the workforce develop the necessary digital skills: while governments should ensure digital skills become an integral part of school curricula beginning at the elementary level, B20 recommendations also include a detailed framework for the design of an inclusive ecosystem for adult reskilling and upskilling with private-public cooperation opportunities.

The second recommendation addresses the need of promoting global connectivity & infrastructure development. The number of “online” people is expected to reach by 50% worldwide by 2019, according to ITU. Most studies show that increasing broadband penetration by 10 % results in GDP increases ranging from 0,25 % to 2,8%. Several recommendations are being developed for G20 leaders to facilitate private investments in digital infrastructure by reducing regulatory barriers; encouraging spectrum regulation to maximize utilization, including freeing up unused or low valued use of spectrum, and others Finally, promoting standards across national borders would allow a smooth transition for devices with no technical nor regulatory restrictions.

Fostering the development and uptake of Industry 4.0 technologies is another key recommendation. Manufacturing GVCs are being transformed by the use of digital technologies such as advanced robots and additive manufacturing. The IV industrial revolution enables gathering and analyzing data across multiple devices, enabling faster, more flexible, and more efficient processes to produce higher-quality goods at reduced costs. In this context, governments should support the creation of an Industry 4.0 ecosystem that fosters the adaption of these new technologies, especially for MSMEs. Public-private collaboration through institutions such as technology centers or innovation hubs must be encouraged. Financial support and tax incentives are pivotal for development and roll-out of these new technologies.

The forth recommendation mentions enabling digital trade and international data flows. Already a focus point included within the future WTO agenda recommendations, governments should agree on general principles developing interoperability mechanisms and cross-border protocols and standards for promoting privacy and security, eliminating discriminatory digital tax measures, data localization requirements & others.

The final recommendations focus on supporting innovation in Financial Technology that fosters financial inclusion: suggestions include helping individuals to create a valid digital identity, encouraging companies to provide environments for cooperation among different players to help innovation thrive and promote common standards and specifications that are “solution-neutral”.

Further recommendations on aspects ranging from e commerce to cybersecurity are being developed by the B20 business community.




Marcos Galperín
Mercado Libre
“For the first time in the history of humankind, we are at a moment when everyone in the planet can be connected to every other person, instantaneously and at an almost zero marginal cost. The power that this global, immediate, interconnected web has, is endless, like our universe, and equally hard for our brain to comprehend."