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GSMA urges policymakers to advance the digital economy

Report encourages policymakers to be the architects of change by using policy to drive change

Giusti: "forward-looking policies can enable societies to prosper"
Giusti: "forward-looking policies can enable societies to prosper"

Digital technologies will influence up to 45 per cent of all retail sales by 2025

Digitalisation of many industry sectors will mean continued disruption

Mobile industry body the GSMA is calling on governments to “act urgently” on a broad set of policy enablers in the face of rapid technology advances to build an inclusive digital future for their citizens.


The report, Embracing the Digital Revolution: Policies for Building the Digital Economy, developed in collaboration with Boston Consulting Group (BCG), urges policymakers to encourage digital advancement and prepare for the changes that lie ahead, while highlighting the risk of inaction.


Digitalisation enables businesses to operate more efficiently and to access new markets and customers. Digital technologies can better connect government with its citizens and have a major impact on day-to-day life, from shopping and banking to entertainment and connecting with friends and family. The report estimates, for example, that digital technologies will influence up to 45 per cent of all retail sales by 2025.


“Digital and mobile technology has delivered far-reaching social and economic benefits at both the global and national levels,” said John Giusti, chief regulatory officer, GSMA.


“As the digital and mobile revolution continues to accelerate, new technologies -- artificial intelligence, robotics and the Internet of Things (IoT) -- promise great benefits but also continued disruption resulting from the digitalisation of many industry sectors.


“Forward-looking policies can enable citizens, businesses, societies and countries to prosper, improving lives and livelihoods, while mitigating the possible adverse effects that can accompany economic change,” he added.


Despite the many benefits of digitalisation, the pace of change creates the possibility of a gulf between those who are digitally connected and those who are not, the GSMA warns. Governments have an important role to play in creating a policy environment that allows for an inclusive digital society where few feel threatened or left behind.


The report encourages policymakers to be the architects of change by using policy to drive change and transform their economies for the benefit of all citizens.


Policymakers have the power to create the best possible outcomes for the technological future in their country, whatever the level of socio-economic development, if a number of key factors are put in place, namely:


High-speed, reliable and robust digital infrastructure

Digitally willing and capable people (citizens, consumers and employees)

Digitally competent and engaged businesses

A trusted environment for digital interactions

A government that sets an enabling policy framework and leads by example


“Governments have a critical role to play in creating an inclusive digital future by establishing a policy framework that incentivises network investment, by ensuring laws and regulations reflect the realities of today’s digital world, and by promoting digitalisation across the economy and society,” added Giusti.



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