WASHINGTON — Today, a global coalition of tech and business groups urged G7 leaders to champion free data flows and other key digital priorities, and harness the benefits of the digital economy and speed the worldwide recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. In their 2021 Recommendations for G7 Leaders to Stimulate Innovation in the Digital Economy, 17 associations highlighted the critical connection between embracing these digital recommendations and addressing worldwide challenges, including the COVID-19 recovery, ensuring a functioning global economy, and fighting climate change.
“Industry supports efforts to expand access to and accelerate adoption of technologies to fully realise the benefits of a global digital economy as well as a free and open internet, recognizing the role digital technology can play in expanding economic inclusiveness and improving overall human well-being,” the groups wrote. “G7 Members should continue to encourage open markets that drive groundbreaking innovations and creative solutions, including those that directly contribute to the economic and public health responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
In advance of the April G7 Digital and Technology Ministerial on April 28-29, the groups urged G7 leaders to enable data flows, remove localisation barriers, facilitate trade, reach a long-term solution to taxation of the digitalizing economy, promote trust and a safe internet, and ensure security in networks and commit to common best practices.
The global statement comes after the G7 Trade Ministerial on March 31 and provides concrete recommendations to take action on the digital trade commitments outlined in the G7 Trade Ministers’ Meeting – Chair’s Statement. The groups wrote: “The Trade Ministers’ statement…indicated G7 Members’ agreement on the importance of data free flow with trust and safeguards for consumers and businesses, and their resolution to promote fair and inclusive digital trading systems that allow goods and services to move seamlessly across borders, including through the development of high-level principles during this Presidency that will guide the G7 approach to digital trade. Industry strongly supports these efforts and encourages the G7 Digital and Technology Ministerial to build upon Trade Ministers’ commitments by issuing a strong statement to operationalize the ‘Data Free Flows With Trust’ and advance the development of principles that promote trade in digital services.”
The recommendations were developed by the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI), Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA), techUK, Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industry Association (JEITA), ACT | The App Association, BSA | The Software Alliance, Coalition of Services Industries (CSI), Consumer Technology Association (CTA), Internet Association (IA), Japan Business Council in Europe (JBCE), Japan Machinery Center (JMC), National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC), Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA), Software and Information Industry Association (SIIA), TECHNATION, TechNet, Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA), and the U.S. Chamber.
To build on these recommendations, leading tech associations from each G7 country plus the EU will meet for an inaugural “Tech7” event on April 15 to further discuss the global industry’s priorities and recommendations for G7 leaders.
The new 2021 Recommendations for G7 Leaders to Stimulate Innovation in the Digital Economy follow an earlier call by 21 global companies issuing positive, proactive suggestions for G7 leaders ahead of their summer meeting and called on the G7 to initiate a new Data and Tech Forum to find solutions to global technology challenges.