SHANGHAI, June 27 (Xinhua) — Earlier this month, China granted its first 5G licenses for commercial use to a broadcasting network and the country’s top three telecom operators, in a major move to boost the development of the digital economy.
Also this month, policymakers in South Korea and telecom operators in Britain have announced their plans to advance the implementation of the next-generation wireless technology.
All these countries are members of the Group of Twenty (G20), an international forum for 19 countries and the European Union. It will hold its 14th summit in Osaka, Japan, from June 28 to 29.
Experts believe that the digital economy will be high on the agenda at the gathering of the world’s major economies, as they all look to technological advancement for higher economic growth and greater innovative capabilities.
“The reason why many countries are accelerating their efforts on developing the digital economy is that it is pivotal to the potential structural change in the global production chain,” said Wang Yuzhu, an associate researcher with the Shanghai Institutes for International Studies.
Wang noted that many major countries in the world are busy devising policies and plans for developing the digital economy in a bid to get a head start, and also a competitive edge, in the new round of digital revolution.
These countries are also well aware that they need to work together in order to unleash the maximum potential of the new technologies and benefit the world as a whole.
In 2016, the G20 members adopted at the Hangzhou summit the G20 Digital Economy Development and Cooperation Initiative, a move conducive to creating an international environment favorable to the development of the digital economy.
At the following summits of the group in 2017 and 2018, world leaders also held extensive discussions on how to strengthen cooperation in developing the digital economy while addressing the challenges brought about by new technologies.
This month, an expert group appointed by the United Nations released its first report on the digital economy and society, calling on governments, the private sector and civil society to work together urgently to maximize the benefits and minimize the harms of digital technologies.
The 20-person panel co-chaired by Melinda Gates and Jack Ma laid out a set of recommendations that included building an inclusive digital economy and society, developing human and institutional capacity and fostering global digital cooperation.
“The increasing attention and discussion on the digital economy show that on the global governance level effective coordination among countries in formulating rules in the area has taken on new urgencies,” said Hu Hua, executive director of the Shanghai Institute of American Studies.