Global industry welcomes the renewed commitment to multilateralism through the G7 and on the role of digital technologies in promoting economic growth through cross-border trade and innovation in next-generation technologies. Industry recognizes the G7 as a key forum to champion democratic values, and agrees with the February 2021 G7 Leaders’ Statement that notes that a sustainable recovery for all depends on action by the G7 to “champion open economies and societies; promote global economic resilience; harness the digital economy with data free flow with trust; cooperate on a modernized, freer and fairer rules-based multilateral trading systems (…); and strive to reach a consensus-based solution on international taxation by mid-2021 within the framework of the OECD.” Enabling free data flows with trust is critical to fighting COVID-19, ensuring a functioning global economy, and addressing climate change. Industry encourages the G7 to reiterate the importance of free data flows in the April Digital and Technology Ministerial Meeting.
Industry supports the United Kingdom’s ambitious set of goals for its G7 Presidency and agrees with the sentiment that the G7 can enhance prosperity in a way that is both sustainable and inclusive by pursuing a “collective approach to using new technologies, by strengthening the international trading system and by supporting a green recovery.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has illuminated the integral roles that digital and digitally enabled services play in daily life, whether through facilitating distance education, enabling telehealth services, conducting regular business operations, or providing for the cross-border delivery of goods and services. A hidden but fundamental aspect of this success has been the international flow of data. Digital technologies and services have enabled firms of all sizes and across all sectors to access international markets without the need for capital expenditures in technology infrastructure. Today, many firms are “born-global”, quickly attaining global reach through reliance on existing available digital technologies and with minimal cross-border structural investment. This connection between digital trade and entrepreneurship, and the importance of policy actions to enable the digitalization of entrepreneurship and the use of digital technology, are key to fostering inclusive development.
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. 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.
Industry respectfully provides the following key recommendations for G7 governments.
Enable Data Flows, Remove Localisation Barriers, and Facilitate Trade
The ability to transfer data across borders is essential for the functioning of our digitally-enabled society and businesses across all sectors to produce, move, market, and sell products and services. G7 Trade Ministers recognized this fact in the recent 2021 Trade Ministers’ Meeting Chair’s Statement, in which they expressed the united support of G7 Members for open digital markets and in opposition to digital protectionism, noting that, “As a group of market-based economies governed by the rule of law, [G7 Members] believe that digital markets should be competitive, transparent, and accessible to international trade and investment.” The Trade Ministers’ statement further 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 while encouraging strong privacy protections and cybersecurity practices.
To these ends, we encourage G7 governments to commit to:
Reach a Long-Term Solution to Taxation of the Digitalizing Economy
We encourage G7 governments to commit to:
Promote Trust and a Safe Internet
Facilitating user trust is paramount for internet and technology service providers operating on a global scale. As G7 governments consider new policy approaches relating to the digital economy, industry supports continued multilateral dialogue that integrates multi-stakeholder participation. Similarly, G7 governments should prioritize transparent and non-discriminatory approaches to the regulation of new technologies, including through deepening dialogues on technology policy to facilitate trade and regulatory compatibility. Sound domestic and international policy approaches relating to the digital economy can better facilitate access to new services.
We encourage G7 government to commit to:
Ensure Security in Networks and Commit to Common Best Practices
As countries face an ever-evolving cybersecurity threat landscape, a shared understanding on how to address common challenges remains critical. Aligning responses to security challenges will provide a more cohesive approach to securing services and infrastructure across the global Internet, allowing firms to collectively respond to threats. This is increasingly relevant as countries pursue new, and sometimes diverging, approaches to ICT supply chain security, including as it relates to next generation networks.
We encourage G7 governments to commit to:
ACT | The App Association
BSA | The Software Alliance Coalition of Services Industries (CSI)
Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA)
Consumer Technology Association (CTA) Information Technology Industry Council (ITI)
Internet Association (IA) Japan Business Council in Europe (JBCE) Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association (JEITA) Japan Machinery Center (JMC)
National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC)
Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA)
Software and Information Industry Association (SIIA) TECHNATION
Telecommunications Industry Association