IGF 2017 WS #14 Internet Governance 2017: Realizing SDGs through Policies Enabling Digital Trade

Short Title: 
Realizing SDGs through Policies Enabling Digital Trade

Proposer's Name: Ms. Barbara WANNER
Proposer's Organization: U.S. Council for International Business
Co-Proposer's Name: Ms. Karen MCCABE
Co-Proposer's Organization: IEEE
Co-Organizers:
Ms. Karen McCabe, Technical Community, IEEE
Ms. Christine Arida, Government, National Telecom Regulatory Authority, Government of Egypt

Additional Speakers: 

Ellen Blackler, The Walt Disney Company (private sector-USA)

Agenda: 

1. The Evidence Base: What research tells us about the economic developmental benefits of digital trade

2. Digital Trade Rules: Instruments for economic development and societal inclusion

3. Localization Rules: Impact on Realizing the SDGs

4. Fostering Users’ Trust in the Digital Economy: Addressing privacy/security concerns while optimizing digital trade benefits

5. Business Responsibility: Channeling trade benefits to education and economic opportunities

6. Best Practices in Internet Governance: Making the connection between Internet governance and digital trade to realize sustainable development and societal inclusion
 

Report: 

Session Title: Realizing SDGs through Policies Enabling Digital Trade

Date:  December 19, 2017

Time: 16:40-18:10

  • Session Organizer: Barbara Wanner, USCIB
  • Chair/Moderator: Eric Loeb, AT&T
  • Rapporteur/Notetaker: Judith Hellerstein, Hellerstein & Associates
  • List of Speakers and their institutional affiliations: Esther Peh, Singapore Mission to UN/Geneva; Rachel Bae, OECD; Karen McCabe, IEEE; Ellen Blackler, Disney; Helani Galpaya, LIRNEasia; Audrey Plonk, Intel; Christopher Yoo, University of Pennsylvania; Carolyn Nguyen, Microsoft; Hossam ElGamal, Government of Egypt; Makoto Yokozawa, Keidanren/Kyoto University
  • Key Issues raised (1 sentence per issue):
    1. The Evidence Base: What research tells us about the economic developmental benefits of digital trade
    2. Digital Trade Rules: Instruments for economic development and societal inclusion
    3. Localization Rules: Impact on Realizing the SDGs
    4. Fostering Users’ Trust in the Digital Economy: Addressing privacy/security concerns while optimizing digital trade benefits
    5. Business Responsibility: Channeling trade benefits to education and economic opportunities
    6. Best Practices in Internet Governance: Making the connection between Internet governance and digital trade to realize sustainable development and societal inclusion
  • Please describe the Discussions that took place during the workshop session (3 paragraphs):

Developing the Evidence Base - Eric Loeb (AT&T) inquired what research tells us about the economic development impact on trade and SDGs. Christopher Yoo (UPENN) spoke about the need to collect some hard data on connectivity. Looking at other ways of collecting hard evidence. Need hard evidence showing how Connectivity advances goals where there is a gap in the literature trying to do what we can to push this forward. Carolyn Nguyen (Microsoft) noted that more than 50 percent of trade is digital services and that digital services are essential in traditional sectors such as manufacturing and agriculture. In particular, the use of digital services in agriculture to measure moisture, determine fertilizer and pesticide levels, and so forth, will promote attainment of SDG-2, which aims to conquer world hunger.

Measurement Challenges--The OECD has been trying to develop metrics for growth and digital trade but found that there are distinct challenges in developing metrics to quantify the economic impact of digital trade because of the very nature of the digital economy. There is a lack of clarity on what digital trade actually means. They have worked with other groups within the OECD to try and get interoperable data sets so can offer some good comparisons. Developing framework of measurement so we can be in a position to capture the statistics and decide the percentage of international trade is digital trade.

Struggle to Develop Trust -- There is a continued struggle between security and being viewed as trusted. To be secure and trustable we need to be open and transparent, but the WTO is neither so this is where the problems are for other groups. Civil society is not speaking with a unified voice hence there is no clear message or many conflicting messages and this is the problem. It is thus difficult to understand who is representing what. This makes figuring out a solution that would be amenable to both parties difficult. How would we be able to solve it on a multi stakeholder manner. This is problematic when the WTO is not viewed as multistakeholder. Ellen Blacker (Disney) stated that entertainment is what motivates people to use the Internet. Growth of entertainment options drives the growth of the net. However for continued growth need to have payment systems that are effective and this requires setting up the policy framework that will allows for growth.

  • Please describe any Participant suggestions regarding the way forward/ potential next steps /key takeaways (3 paragraphs):

Localization Rules--Topic of data localization was very important especially in light of the GDPR and Governments interest in privacy and security. There was a discussion of the cost benefits of Separating out personal data from business data and at what costs. This is especially problematical with cross border data. How to you separate out personal data from business data and how do you abide by local laws geared to ensuring the privacy and security of data when data is cross border. OECD has been working on an impact analysis to better understand the shock to the economic system when legal and legislative issues change how this is used and kept. Carolyn Nguyen (Microsoft) talked about the needs of different stakeholders which necessitate the need for different governance requirements and what is the best way within the current rules and trade agreements to optimize the data flows.  Karen McCabe (IEEE) stated the best way to optimize the data flow is to put a focus on standards and the role standards bodies play in trade. Chris Yoo (UPENN) stated that today’s regulation is the new trade war, it’s not about tariffs anymore. Is that going to stop trade from happening and direct investment from happening?. No. Is it going to make it harder? Yes.

Balancing Security/Trust with Business Needs --Christopher Yoo (UPENN) highlighted the issue that it is impossible to get 100% data localization or even 100% security and this should not be our focus. What we need is a system that balances the needs of security with those interests of the government, the private sector, and consumers. We need to recognize that law enforcement has some valid needs but also so do consumers and need to find one that has the proposer balance between those two. We also need to find a system that creates the right type of incentives for investment and innovation. As this will allow for increased economic growth, there needs to be the right incentives for the private sector to invest and create products and services which grow the economy and enable all to meet the sustainable development goal. The current processes and regulations are outmoded and the costs to meet them are expensive. If these can be streamlined it could help become more efficient in their data collection and thus lower the cost of production of new products.

Innovative Regulatory Approaches: Esther Pei (Government of Singapore) described how the Government of Singapore has shifted its mindset on regulation to help enable innovation. For new technologies and business models about which regulators do not yet know enough, the government has established “regulatory sandboxes” to facilitate experimentation in a very contained environment for a limited period. Singapore has used “sandboxes” for the fledgling FinTech sector. Through the sandbox, the monitoring authority relaxes regulation requirements on a case-by-case basis for the duration of a very specific project. The Singapore Government is pleased with how this approach has fostered innovation, but also enabled regulators to learn more about the technologies before determining if, how, or when the sector should be subject to some regulation

Gender Reporting

  • Estimate the overall number of the participants present at the session:   Audience size: 45-50 people
  • Estimate the overall number of women present at the session:  About equal mix between men and women
  • To what extent did the session discuss gender equality and/or women’s empowerment?  Gender equality and women's empowerment was not the subject of this panel and so these issues were not discussed.
  • If the session addressed issues related to gender equality and/or women’s empowerment, please provide a brief summary of the discussion: Not applicable, because gender issues were not the subject of this discussion.

Información de Contacto

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