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2020 G20 Recommendations for Promoting Innovation, Digital Technologies, and Trade

Today, FOSA and more than 30 technology and business trade associations from around the world issued recommendations for G20 governments as officials meet to discuss the role of digital technologies in promoting economic growth. The 25 recommendations focus on the facilitation of a global response to the COVID-19 outbreak; the advancement of global data free flows with trust; the promotion of cross-border innovation and adoption of new technologies; and ensuring the benefits of technology are realized by all. 

“At a time when global uncertainty is at a high and governments are grappling with responding to an ongoing pandemic, the G20 is among the most appropriate convening bodies to build the international consensus between the key players necessary to mitigate the near- and long-term negative impacts of the current public health crisis,” the associations wrote. “We applaud its recent commitments to continue to realise a free, fair, non-discriminatory, transparent, predictable and stable trade and investment environment, and to keep markets open. Together with industry, the G20 should continue to encourage the open markets and accelerated technology adoption that will drive groundbreaking innovations and creative solutions, including those that directly contribute to the economic and public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The groups urged the governments to reaffirm commitments to reject protectionism, support rules-based multilateral organisations, embrace transparency in legislative and regulatory actions, and invest in the workforce. Governments should also prioritize the enhancement and generation of business opportunities for micro, small, and medium size enterprises and continued advancement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals as a means of ensuring inclusive recovery across economies.

Among the 25 recommendations offered, the groups noted that the G20 should:

  1. Reaffirm commitment to free, fair, non-discriminatory, transparent, predictable and stable trade and investment environments, and to keep markets open. Such commitment should entail agreement to refrain from imposing new trade-restrictive measures that would inhibit the necessary flow of goods and services, including digital services and technologies and physical goods sold over the internet. Where economies adopt trade-related emergency measures, these should be notified to the WTO and rolled back as soon as possible;
  2. Strengthen their commitment to facilitate the free flow of data across borders and refrain from imposing localization measures requiring the local storage or processing of data, or the use of local computer facilities;
  3. Adopt and maintain strong privacy protections that reflect global consensus frameworks (such as from the OECD and APEC) and facilitate global interoperability;
  4. Commit to achieving a multilateral solution to the taxation challenges arising from the digitalisation of the global economy, and refrain from pursuing unilateral digital tax measures that are discriminatory in nature and contravene long-standing principles of international taxation;
  5. Strengthen broadband infrastructure to ensure network resilience and connectivity required to enable benefits of technology to reach all citizens and facilitate greater access to remote learning and telemedicine.

Signers of the letter include: Information Technology Industry Council (ITI); ACT | The App Association; Asia Internet Coalition (AIC); Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA); Australian Services Roundtable (ASR); Brazilian Association of Information Technology and Communication Technology Companies (BRASSCOM); Canadian Chamber of Commerce; Coalition of Services Industries (CSI); Communications and Information Network Association of Japan (CIAJ); Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA); Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA); DIGITALEUROPE; Engine; European Data Centre Associations (EUDCA); Fiber Broadband Association; Fiber Optic Sensing Association (FOSA); Information Technology and Communications Chamber of Argentina (CICOMRA); Internet Association (IA); Internet Infrastructure Coalition; Japan Business Council in Europe (JBCE); Japan Business Machine and Information System Industries Association (JBMIA); Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association (JEITA); Japan Information Technology Services Industry Association (JISA); Japan Machinery Center for Trade and Investment (JMC); Mexican Chamber of Electronics, Telecommunications and Information Technologies (CANIETI); National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC); TECHNATION; techUK; Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA); United States-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF); United States Chamber of Commerce; and United States Council for International Business (USCIB).
Read the Recommendations

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