Last week, I represented the GSMA at the OECD’s first Digital Economy Ministerial Meeting since 2016. The meeting saw governments, civil society and business communities from OECD member countries come together to focus on driving long-term recovery and economic growth by building a trusted, sustainable, and inclusive digital future. Discussions and workshops across the three days covered four important topics for the digital economy:
- Digital enablers of the global economy
- Building better societies
- Putting people first in the digital transformation
- Harnessing the power of AI and emerging technologies
A significant outcome of the event was the publication of the Ministerial Declaration on a Trusted, Sustainable and Inclusive Digital Future. The GSMA congratulates OECD Digital Ministers on a joint statement that emphasises the importance of taking collaborative action to address all digital divides, including the gender digital gap, noting that facilitating investment in connectivity, digital technologies, digital public services, skills, training, education, and capacity building is now a priority to empower people to actively participate in digital societies and succeed in workforce transitions.
The Declaration makes a priority of delivering twin digital and green transformations, by leveraging innovation to advance economies and societies towards sustainability and net zero targets. This will be achieved by mitigating the digital sector’s negative environmental externalities and by deploying digital technologies that bear direct positive effects on the environment.
The Declaration underscores a commitment to developing evidence-based policies and regulations, analysing trends in the evolution of the connectivity ecosystem and its market structures. It recognises the necessity of incentivising investment in network deployment and of implementing transparent and predictable spectrum management, guided by long-term societal and economic benefits.
All these elements are strongly aligned with the GSMA’s objective to harness the power of mobile as an enabling force for positive economic, social, and environmental change.
Towards a Sustainable and Inclusive Global Economy for 2030
Importantly, the OECD prides itself on being a platform for multi-stakeholdarism. As one representative of the private sector, I find that there is a true place to be part of this process, through BIAC – Business at OECD. In the lead-up to the Ministerial, BIAC published A Business vision for our digital future. This recognises the importance of active industry participation in multi-lateral policy making. It emphasises the role of the private sector as a committed partner of government and other stakeholders in working together to ensure that digital economies remain open, trusted, sustainable, and resilient for everyone.
The GSMA welcomes Business at OECD’s vision and priorities and stands ready to play our role in delivering the impactful multi-stakeholder action that is needed to connect everyone and everything to a better future.