Digital economy officials to discuss inclusive development in Salta

The G20 Digital Economy Ministerial Meeting starts tomorrow; over 30 heads of delegation are attending. Digital government, digital infrastructure and measuring the digital economy are some of the topics on the agenda.

With an intense agenda relating to digital transformations, senior G20 digital economy officials are meeting on Thursday and Friday in the province of Salta, in the north-west of Argentina.

Chaired by Andrés Ibarra, Argentine Minister of Modernization, and Lino Barañao, Argentine Minister for Science, Technology and Innovative Production, the Digital Economy Ministerial Meeting will be attended by 33 heads of delegation, including ministers, senior officials and representatives from invited countries and international organizations. These include: Miao Wei, Chinese Minister of Industry and Information Technology; Konstantin Noskov, Russian Minister of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media; Ravi Shankar Prasad, Indian Minister of Electronics and Information Technology; Houlin Zhao, Secretary-General of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU); and Mukhisa Kituyi, Secretary-General of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

Building on the contributions of the G20 Digital Economy Task Force, which has met twice in Buenos Aires this year, ministers and meeting delegates will seek to create conditions that help governments, the private sector and civil society maximize the benefits and confront the challenges posed by technological progress.

Beginning on Thursday 23 August with an official dinner at the Museum of Fine Arts in Salta, the agenda continues on Friday with working sessions at the Salta Convention Centre. Digital governance, digital inclusion, measuring the digital economy and technological infrastructure development are all items on the agenda.

With respect to digital inclusion, participants will tackle reducing the gender divide – a transversal issue present in all G20 discussions – and examine proposals to increase women’s participation in the digital economy. The meeting therefore hopes to generate policy recommendations to accelerate infrastructure development and enable universal connectivity and support for new technologies. In this regard, the G20 common goal of securing global and affordable access to Internet for all by 2025 is vital.

Developing digital policies requires improving the quality of information and data on the growth and impact of the new economy. Participants will therefore discuss recommendations to monitor this transformation. Setting a standardized methodology is crucial to maintaining a meaningful dialogue on the evolution of the digital economy, its impact and the challenges it poses.

On Friday at 4.15 pm, once the closed-door sessions are over, the Argentine G20 presidency will give a press conference which will be live streamed on the G20 YouTube channel. Participants will also issue a joint declaration on the digital economy that will help make up the recommendations submitted at the Leaders’ Summit.