>> Good morning, everyone. We're going to start in just a few minutes. We're uploading a presentation.
good morning, everyone. Welcome to the IGF. It's my first event of the week. So, perhaps for some of you, it's the same as well. Thank you for coming and starting your morning here with us. We're going to spend some time today talking about our -- the ideas that ICC has put together on the best way to encourage private sector investment in the efforts to meet the sustainable development goals.
It's well accepted that progress towards the goals of each of the STGs can be accelerated with the application of ICTs and today we're going talk about the enabling environment for the policies that will enable that private sector investment.
Specific approaches will vary, of course, based on the particular circumstances of each country and jurisdiction, the degree of connectivity deployed, the level of affordability, the level of the adoption, and the degree to which markets are open. That's why the International Chamber of Commerce has worked to document how the ECD -- ICT ecosystems work in practice and highlight the role of advancing the 2030 agenda. You'll see this paper around, Timea, do we have them at the front? Oh, they're at the BASIS booth, you have to go to the IGF village, the BASIS booth or on the website, you can see the paper we have put together on the enabling environment for ICTs towards the SGTs. That's a lot of acronyms in one sentence.
the paper talks about how a seamless ICT ecosystem is built on three core components, a flexible and affordable infrastructure that enables the development of applications and services coupled with the ability of the user to actively and independently use the technology. Private sector activity and investment supports this ecosystem across all three components. The ICT infrastructure, the content services, and the leveraging for societal benefit and developing the solutions to address the many areas of development. This layered ecosystem can only function if supported by effective policy and approaches.
In order to create this, policy makers can create legal frameworks that support innovation. In our discussion today, we're going to focus on four key policy areas in what enabling policy environment look at the social, economic, and government factors that help the ICTs reach their potential.
We have a robust group of folks here with a lot to add. So,, I'm going to turn it to our moderator, Carolyn Nguyen, who is the director of technology at Microsoft. She'll lead us through the rest of the discussion.
>> Nguyen: Thanks so much, Ellen, for that introduction and also for setting the context for us in this very important dialogue on how to harness ICT for development. Hopefully this won't be the last time this week that you'll hear about the essential role of ICT in realizing the sustainable development goals, and furthermore, why a holistic policy environment is crucial to enable the level of investment necessary to support sustainable economic growth.
So, for the remainder of the session, we'll refine each dimension Ellen mentioned of enabling policy environment and discuss what are the issues for consideration. Each will be discussed for 20 minutes. We have invited a government speaker and a business speaker for each of the dimensions. And then we'll open it to the floor and invite all of you to also participate in hopefully a very interactive discussion. And then we'll bring together -- everything together at the close.
The order is technical, sociocultural, and economic and governance. So,, starting with the first policy segment in terms of technical considerations. When we think about technical, technology is really what makes possible the digital transformation that's at the heart of the agenda for growth and essential for the U.N. sustainable development goals as well as economic growth at large. When we think of technology, three dimensions, continued innovation, technical requirements -- conditions that are necessary to enable the deployment and bring adoption and access to the technology.
Joining us is Mr. Jivan Gjorgjinski, head of the department of public relations and public diplomacy of Macedonia. Mr. Gjorgjinski has been involved in internet governance issues and participated in 2005. He'll share with us lessons learned in Macedonia from implementing infrastructure projects. Please welcome Mr. Gjorgjinski.
>> Gjorgjinski: Thank you very much. I just first let me thank ICC and BASIS for organizing this and putting such a good perspective on this very important topic. I have the pleasure right now of being the head of the Macedonia mission in Geneva. My first time coming to Geneva was for the preparations. And it's very interesting to look back over the past period. And I think this whole discussion started at that time of how ICTs could enable development. And if that was one of the main issues that was going into the discussions, the internet governance turned out to be one of the key ones that came out of it.
But throughout one thing that was evident at that time was -- and I want to start with this before I get into perhaps specifics -- is that there was a level of distrust between the stakeholder groups as we now call them, and especially perhaps a distrustful view of government. Which, it's very interesting right now to see that Microsoft, your company has started a call for a Geneva digital convention. It's a reversal of what one would think of positions. And it's interesting to see how we've come to that.
Over the past 15 years, there's been a lot of interaction between the stakeholder group us and they've gotten to know each other better and their interests and their positions. And while we've come to -- to a moment right now where it is seen how important it is for them to play together, for them to create the next steps together. And what I would say is what is key in this discussion is to create a climate of legality in the whole framework of where we go from now on. And that climate of legality has to be a different one than the way we perceived it until now, a different one than just legislation and courts. For this enabling environment we're discussing, we need to think in slightly different ways.
I give you one example. I could give you examples from Macedonia. But also let me draw on a broader framework. Hernando De Soto, a economist has been talking about how everybody is a capitalist and in many places the capitalism hasn't jumped out properly and the reason is there's not been a proper rule of law or climate of legality within the frameworks and that stems from the fact that a farmer cannot always claim ownership of a given property. Now Hernando De Soto is one of the pioneers of block chain. He's seen how block chain, for instance, can be a very good way for you to organize land registries and the feeling of permanence, and the feeling of permanence that a farmer can have, the land title, gives a feeling of security.
So, this technology -- the reason I bring it here, the interplay of technology of government policies and private sector initiatives, is how we need to start thinking about the next steps. But I would also say we don't need to go too much into that. We have to be careful where this climate of legality doesn't stifle development. And, again, just a few kilometers from here is where Tim Burners Lee in a private capacity developed the world-wide web. He could have copyrighted it. He could have created a legal frame around it that would have meant the completely different type of development for digital, for the internet than the one we know. So, this interplay -- and I would prefer to just throw a few theses and then go in an interchange rather than go too much into detail, this interplay, this Nexus needs to be a gentle one where there's a feeling of a climate of legality but not at the same time that it stifles development.
>> Nguyen: Thank you very much for that statement and for putting that -- putting that question out there for further discussion. I very much appreciated that.
Next, I would like to introduce Mr. Omar Mansoor Ansari, the President of TechNation, a startup support company as well as chairman of the national ICT alliance in Afghanistan. Mr. Ansari, can you help us understand a little bit more about some of the challenges faced by SME's in developing countries?
>> Ansari: I would like to thank ICC and BASIS for developing this and talk about the challenges in the developing world, especially Afghanistan. I don't have many slides, but there's only one slide that's important and this is a map of Afghanistan in order for people who do not know where Afghanistan -- I'm sure you all know. But still, you might not know it's like right in the middle of different regions.
On the top, you see this Afghanistan, on the top of this here which is the ex-Soviet Union countries, the majority of them in the bottom starting from Pakistani, south Asia. On the left side, you will see Iran, the grey color, which is like Middle East starting from there. And on the right hand, you would see China. So, it's right in the middle of different regions in the southeast, Middle East, China, and some of the other big economies in the world.
That means a big opportunity for business. It's connecting not only the regions but also the continents. It's a gateway to -- to Europe. And a very good thing about Afghanistan is it's the only fiberoptic in the country. So, it provides a great opportunity for infrastructure and investment as well as connecting different regions.
Our biggest challenge is that we are landlocked. We do not have a direct access to fiber. The fiber is coming via Pakistan, Iran, and central Asian countries. So, that makes us so much dependent on our neighbors.
On the next slides, you will see doing business indicators from the World Bank. Unfortunately, in three or four indicators, we have dropped down, but overall, we are ranked like 183. That's a big challenge. But at the same time, that means the opportunity that we can grow and develop in the future. Some of our major challenges which are on the next slide includes connectivity and costs. Afghanistan is one of the countries in the world where the internet is extremely expensive. It's $150 for connection, which makes it very unaffordable for common Afghans. And that's why businesses can't really benefit from the economy and the facilities that are provided via internet. And that's why it's affecting our education in the business -- in economic growth as well as employment in the country.
But the Minister of Communications has opened it up like previously it was mostly like governments, state-owned enterprise monopoly called Afghan Telecom. Recently the Afghanistan regulatory authority opened it up for fiber investment and to the fiber. So, we are hopeful and confident that it will further enhance not only the price issue, the cost issue, but also it will help with the quality of services.
Next is the digital issues in Afghanistan, that's caused by not having sufficient local content, local technologies in Afghanistan. But it's like -- you know, content is mostly in English. People use it, but recently there's so much media outlets in Afghanistan where we're trying to create content. But this content is mainly of news and not many on education and other relevant material in content that people can utilize. When it comes to the digital issues is there. Policy and regulatory environments has got its own issues. Improving as well. Taxation has been one of the biggest challenges for -- for the Afghan businesses. If you go back to the other slide, you will see we have dropped in the taxation between business incubators on paying taxes. We dropped about 9 points instead of 8 points there. So, it has become really difficult for the Afghan businesses to do tax clearances. We previously at 2% but it's becoming 2% business receipt tax and there's 2% of a contract tax and other taxes include like income tax, withholding, and others, which is making it a little bit difficult for the SMEs especially, the startup community to survive.
Also, the business license fee in corporation is a little expensive compared to other neighboring countries and developing companies.
Financing is not there. Its's hard for the Afghan businesses to get a loan. It's a tough process in a really high of an interest rate in Afghanistan, but they're working on improving it. One of the major issues is like kind of preventing the Afghan business to grow is the epayment system in Afghanistan. PayPal doesn't work in Afghanistan. And credit cards are recently being started in the country. It's been a few years. But majority of the population is unbanked and that's why it's hard for the digital businesses to, you know, really expand.
What we are doing in Afghanistan to support and -- has been, you know, other organizations. There are about five business incubators which includes, a government-owned, Minister of Communications and ITs own business incubator providing them with opportunities to provide them with space, mentorship, and coaching. And my company TechNation was privileged to implement the initial program in Kabul. The startup valley, these are other incubators that are helping people take initiative.
TechNation has an information portal, a resource portal, technology it's called tech IDF which is expanding. We've been working on this for a couple of years, but content is still in English but we're looking for ways to localize this content.
Tech women Afghanistan and other programs, it's a network of women in technology helping to develop the leadership of women in technology as well as their technical skills, a lot of events, gatherings, where they can share information, and you know, insight.
A very recent program that we're launching at IGF this year, a very soft launch of the web portal is called techwoman.Asia, which we have been working on. And the purpose is to connect the Asian women in technology to share resources, share information, mentor each other, provide coaching to each other, so they can collaborate and also enhance the -- the cross-border regional collaboration with the Asia-Pacific region.
A very big program is under way which we have been working with the Minister of Education, it's called a Digital Literacy Campaign. It will be implemented throughout Afghanistan and different schools. And the purpose -- the target is to provide digital literacy to 50,000 women across Afghanistan.
So, another program that we're working with in partnership with Facebook is about on-line safety where we'll be, you know, sharing resources and information as well as doing sol capacity building across Afghanistan on how people can be safer on-line.
So, these are some of the programs. I'll be happy to answer any questions. Thank you.
>> Nguyen: Thank you so much, Omar. And so -- I'd like to thank our panelists, really, for putting together -- putting issues in the sense of -- so I think with both speakers, what we really understand is it's about the promise of technology but then the question is how to enable it? As Jivan put on the table a challenge to say well, what should be the legal framework that needs to be in place that will balance both the innovation, but also enable the broad deployment of the technology, because there are some potential there. And then Omar speaks about, you know, sort of the many of the practical steps to overcome the challenges in enabling these technologies more broadly. And I really particularly like one of the examples that you gave is in terms of the outreach to others globally. You know, to kind of share that information. So, with that, I'd like to open the conversation to the floor and invite any speakers to comment on any of those issues. And challenges.
the I would like to call on Ms. Jennifer Chung, director of corporate knowledge from DotAsia to share with us the role of the technical community in policy discussion in expanding ICT access.
>> Chung: Thank you very much, Carolyn, for that introduction and thank you ICT-BASIS for inviting me to speak to everyone here. I'm going to keep it short because I think everybody on the panel wants to hear reactions from the floor.
Basically, I think the previous two speakers, Omar as well, has talked about how ICTs and technology is so cross cutting that, you know, having the technical community in the policy discussions really needs to start from the very beginning. You talk about a lot of things when it comes to implementation and then you bring in the technical experts. Actually, the most important part, really, is to have the technical community involved with crafting these policy implementation and discussions so it can be a multifaceted and holistic solution to a problem.
Two examples I'll mention. As a registry, DotAsia does participate in the ICANN processes, it's focused on the DNS policies and much narrow in the broader ICT complex. But two examples that are important to have the technical community involved from the beginning, one is the ownership transition. I'm not going to go to further detail. I'm sure everyone knows but having the technical community there in the crafting of the entire proposal from beginning to end in the whole process was very, very crucial.
And the second one I will mention is Universal acceptance. Speaking from the I Can context, this requires not only multi-stake holder but also cross sector cooperation. Affects across business. You need people like app developers and coders and technical experts and policy makers that could create a policy that would allow for universal acceptance. So, DotAsia has been waving the flag for this for quite some time now.
To tie back on a brief mention that Omar did talk about, the capacity building. I think the technical community has a really, really good role here to play. Because I think having a sustainable and cooperative environment, you really need to build capacity to those to understand the solutions that will be tailored to them is what they really want. So, maybe I'll throw this back over to Carolyn to open it for the floor?
>> Nguyen: Thank you, Jennifer, for that. And also for setting us up well for the governance dimension as well. With that, I would like to open the conversation to the floor and invite participants to address and make comments in any of the ideas and the challenges that were put out. In particular, I'm -- Olga, please?
>> thank you very much, thank you for organizing this very interesting session. I would like to talk from my role as member of the Board of Trustees of ISOC and the role of ISOC. I see the challenges in -- in having a public/privacy partnership and understanding the different roles of the different stakeholders here and the challenges, especially coming from a developing region. I'm from Argentina. And I think that internet society offers a good way to bridge into the different worlds, private and public, because we offer different options for -- for getting knowledge and capacity building.
For example, we have a diverse group of policy briefings on our website of different things that some are more technical, some are more oriented toward the internet governance and site security and privacy. And also, they're published in different languages in Spanish, English, and some on French. Also, our chapters play a relevant growth in their communities. They do stakeholders in one place, they do capacity building. Internet society also host different programs for youth and for ambassadors and they also support different capacity buildings in different countries of the world and regions. So, the role of internet society as a building bridges between the different stakeholders is of high importance. So, I would like to stress this. And, of course, open this -- all of this information on our organization to you all stakeholders and help building this new environment for development. Thank you.
>> Nguyen: Thank you very much, Olga, for bringing that up. And also, I think one of the things that we talk a lot about capacity building, of use in particular. And I think the other area that's important is capacity building for the policy stakeholders as well which ISOC plays a large role in as well. Any other comments?
Great. Thank you to the speakers. There's a lot of ideas there already. I would like to move at this point to really introduce and discuss a second dimension in the holistic policy environment that Ellen spoke about, which is really the social/cultural considerations. So, the -- so the speakers so far have said that technology enables progress. Technology enables solutions to some of the issues, for example, the use of lock chain in addressing trust in some of the land registry issues and connectivity.
However, as technology becomes a part of our everyday lives and interactions, we really need to be mindful about the social/cultural issues. And so, what are some of these that must be taken into account, you know, some of our speakers already speak about the need to foster ICT and digital literacy skills to make sure that content can be -- content applications and services can be created in a way that's relevant to the community there and in particular, also, that are respectful of issues such as human rights.
Joining us to explore the social/cultural considerations in a policy framework, I would like to introduce Ms. Hoda Dalruk is a member of the council for community development and head of the central department of community development of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology in Egypt. Ms. Dalruk?
>> Dalruk: Thank you for being here and letting me speak. Let me start with the Egypt government focuses on the multi-stakeholders and what's mentioned here now because we need to include all the business and all of the partnership. Public alone will not be succeeded without the private sector and society and the peoples themselves. The people in Egypt was a little number. The subscribers of phone coming now, 103%, which means that maybe some individuals have two or three mobile phones, which means that a lot of people now know about the ICT. But this doesn't reflect the using of the ICT and the benefit of the ICT.
So many challenges is there. So, coming to -- to the frame of the SCGs, the government in the past few years work with great effort to meet the international agenda. We have launched our Egypt 2030 strategic agenda. We always working on the dimension of the SCGs, efforts under way to meet the Egypt 2030, specific with the performance indicators.
We have a lot of initiatives in a comprehensive way because there is a lot of people, like the people's abilities, the woman, the geographic unprivileged areas need more -- enabling the environment to use the ICT and to advance the industry of the ICT. So, these initiatives together when you see the infrastructure is one of the major challenges in Egypt, the training and the up-to-date training of using the ICT is a challenge and also the awareness, to change the mindset for the cultures is a big challenge without changing the culture. Because Egypt has in every government, there are heritage of cultures and we are proud of this culture. So, you have to change the mindset, usually the ICT and the technology and the up-to-date technology without changing the culture.
Let me say some initiatives for the infrastructure by -- we have now seven technical parks constructed to attract the small companies to invest in the ICT sectors in many technical parks in Egypt. There is a high level of decision making to any new city will come a smart city. And it's applied on the new Minister of Capital, a new construct city in Egypt, and every city will become -- new cities will become fully smart cities.
So, this is a high-level dele session. There's a lot of innovation now in the way to build in the government to attract the use and academia and the -- the unprivileged people to come and innovate to design thinking the social strategies and find the solution -- the proper solution.
So, unveiling the infrastructures in all of Egypt is something very, very clear now and on the agenda. The Post Offices in Egypt becoming now enhanced and innovative in a way that going to avail all of the services, on-line services for the government. So, this is another way of including and reach the unreached. If I have time? Okay.
On the other hand, we have to monitor and evaluate all of these initiatives, and we have to include people also to give feedback for all of our missions. So, there's a big initiative, the ecomplaint system -- the Governor complaint system is considered one of the Governor's modern reflective tools to effects a strong desire to establish a strong contact with Egyptian citizens through the availability of ICT. I think this initiative is very important. To hear about the feedback of people and to enhance our solutions and enhance our strategies, and the decision making have the feedback -- this is I think a way of democracy -- a new democracy in Egypt and this is great.
And another initiative like this called IGABI it means positor. So, this is another platform. And so there's a lot of initiatives for us, the small and medium companies to enhance, to let the -- let these companies becoming in the formal sector. Because we have a lot of -- there's a lot of companies, small companies, but not in the formal sector. So, the ICT avail a lot of as it is to be on the formal sector by attracting them by the e-commerce. So, the e-commerce strategy was launched in Cairo, ICT, the latest conference, 2017, which was held at the first of this month. And this is the way for the financial inclusion.
We have also a challenge for all of the financial inclusion. At that point, I'll close my -- thank you very much.
>> Nguyen: Thank you so much for that and also for really highlighting the importance of inclusion and also the importance of obtaining input from the different stakeholders, but definitely from the people as you formulate these initiatives and that's something I'll also ask Mr. Bradley later on in the session to comment on.
Next I would like to introduce Mr. Bobby Bedi who is founder and managing director of Kaleidoscope Entertainment. He's an award winning film producer. He'll share some of his thoughts.
>> Bedi: Yeah, let me see if I can move a little closer. I'll move closer. It's easier. Okay. Good morning, good afternoon. Excuse me slowness. I've just got off a long plane journey and came straight here.
My talks basically painting of a picture. It may not be totally related to what was said before this, but I think there's a major change happening in India and I'm just going to sort of paint a picture and see how all of you react to it and what you feel about it.
So, India keeps changing. We're pulled in so many directions we don't know which direction we're going in, but certainly the pull is so strong that the cloth gets larger and larger and larger. The reach and depth of internet reach has ensured that all of India, old and young, rich and poor, male and female, has access to the internet. Now the price of a GB of data has gone from $15 to 20 cents. I'm saying this a year after this has happened. I don't have accurate figures, but I think the internet is close to reaching 1 billion people in our country or at least nearly there.
So, the incentives in developing the internet are very clearly originated by the need to improve governance, improve health, improve economy, improve production. Improve employability. But all of this is only possible because the engine driving this consumption and change is socio/cultural. That's very important because every time I come to a forum like this, we tend to gloss over the engagement of the entertainment factor of content on the internet. But the truth is that most people's first engagement with the internet is for entertainment. It could be film or songs or music or just jokes that they send each other. We all know how it's being used. So, it's very important to actually give the rating to this part of the internet.
I'm proud that the sociocultural concept has been brought in to a conversation like this. India has two levels, one is at the top and the bottom of the pyramid. A few of us in here know the languages -- we have 15 languages just on the currency note. That's just a fraction of the total numbers we have. India is largely linguistically being rephrased. The skill of the opportunity is so immense that all players are creating and formatting content in all languages. This includes Facebook and all local companies. The production of languages is overwhelming. At a conference of entrepreneurs, I was told that simply translating an app from English into regional languages. Overnight it increases by 200 times. That's the impact of linguistically taking English and turning it to 10 or 15 local languages.
The jobs, real estate, travel, taxi rides, day-to-day shopping, match making for marriages, dating casual and serious, how you dress, all of this is happening on the internet and is happening in all languages.
So, the middle and the bottom of the pyramid is under siege from urban and socially class forces. My son is a Stanford grad and is a CEO and my 16-year-old doesn't speak a word of English we both realized had both saved the contacts for their girlfriends in their phones under "my baby." So that's literally the impact that cross cultural imprint is having.
At another level, the top of the pyramid too is under siege. Big content producers around local content are under siege from Netflix, Amazon, Apple. They're pouring international content. This is changing both the form of content. It will change the type of content we produced and consumed. India has a funny way of skipping generations. So, we actually have most of India -- not more than 15%, 30% of India has seen a landline phone. 90% of India have seen a mobile phone. So, I think that probably one of the first countries that will make television as -- television as I said being irrelevant is probably likely to be in India. It's a guess, it's a prediction.
So, I want to sum up with the fact that there's 1.2 billion to 1.3 billion people out there. And they're being heavily influenced and impacted by the net. I will say in equal measures or in much larger measures of positively and some negatively, that you will be judging India -- heaven or hell. Heaven more likely. There's a lot happening out there, good and bad. We can only wish that's what it takes and hope that the world realizes that. Thank you.
>> Nguyen: Thank you very much for sharing with us that spectrum of thinking. And further exploring and refining the concept of inclusion that was put out by Ms. Dalruk a bit earlier.
At this point, I would like to ask Mr. -- and also introduce Mr. Charles Bradley, the executive director of Global Partners Digital UK to share with us some of his thoughts on the role of civil society and policy discussions. And also perhaps if you may also share with us some thoughts around the theme of inclusion and inclusiveness as well as giving back some of the feedback on some of these comments that was put out by the previous two speakers. Thank you.
>> Bradley: Thank you very much, thank you for the introduction. It's a base in London where we have two principle aims, one is power society to engage in public policy making processes, and the other is to make the processes more open, inclusive, and transparent. And I think the first thing to comment on it is really the value of society engagements. What do we have to say about any of these issues? And always the goal is to achieve better policy outcomes and make a more meaningful contribution to the lives of individuals around the world. And when we're talking about access and we're talking particularly around digital access to the unconnected, civil society have a very critical role to play in that.
Two key things we see, one is the role of representation to civil society groups to have the ability through membership structures or other structures to represent different voices. But also through the expertise that they have. So, the value is twofold there.
We have a framework that we use to identify the ways in which sort of policy-making processes can be more open, inclusive, and transparent. And we look at the five policy stages from scoping, formation, drafting, agreement, and adoption. And each of these stages should be to differing levels include certain characteristics. So, that should be open and accessible, it should be inclusive, it should be collaborative, it should be consensus-driven, it should be evidence-based, and it should be transparent. And often society criticized for not bringing anything to the table. Our solution is we want to be at the table on the right issues with the right groups but we can bring something and there's a lot we can bring on this particular area.
So, we've heard examples in the way in which access is changing from e-complaint systems to smart cities and started to hear a bit about the different push and pull factors of access and inclusive access. And I think one wonderful example to look at in this base has been the work of the initiative, the affordable -- the alliance of affordable internet initiative, particularly the work they've been doing, the national level. And one of the key successes is the work in Nigeria including the right stakeholders in the right stages, they've been able to untangle unused spectrum so it can reduce the costs of actually allocating spectrum and therefore reducing the cost of delivering access.
They've been working with relevant content producers to make sure there's a pull factor of the internet that people want to come on to the internet rather than us pushing what may be heaven or hell. We're trying to work out what that is on to them. And there's a shaping the outcomes and the decisions around the Universal access funds. So, how does that levy that's being put on telecos being used to make sure it's use in a way that ensures meaningful inclusion?
So, in concrete terms, we see society being at the key role of the issue, scoping, and formation stage, what will be the issue around smart cities. They will need different stakeholders at the table than a traditional sort of access policy, providing research and sort of carrying out their own research, but also working with companies using private data for public good. Connecting with grassroots is specifically the unconnected and understanding what the potential issues and sort of the challenges that they face. And for all stakeholders, civil society plays a critical role in making the processes more open, inclusive, and transparent. And that's not just for civil society. But also for the private sector for the technical community and for government stakeholders as well. Thank you.
>> Nguyen: Great, thank you so much. Charles, for sharing the insights with us. Through our fault in planning this session, I just realized we only have until 1:00 p.m.
So, we'll go ahead and go through the next two dimensions in terms of economic and governance and if there's still some time left, open up the floor for discussion at that point in time.
At this point, I would like to then bring in the third dimension, which is economic considerations. Realizing the SDGs and the potential for transformation requires the same level of investment from government, industry, international organizations, development banks, and other institutions, we've learned without growth, investment is not sustainable, and by consequence, realization of the SDGs would be seriously hampered. One of the economic considerations would have to be taken into account to promote sustained investment and encourage entrepreneurship. The speakers have spoken about startup incubators, etc.
What are some of the economic considerations that should be taken into consideration? Joining us is Mr. Rob Strayer who's secretary at the U.S. state department for policy. Mr. Strayer.
>> Strayer: Thank you for hosting this panel today.
This is a great opportunity for me and government colleagues to interact with the private sector, civil society, and all of you. I'm honored to be here with the fellow panelists and all of you.
So, I think it's helpful to start -- if we think about achieving the full potential of the internet economy to think about where we are today and how we got here. As you all are well aware, expanded use of the internet and related technology in the last few decades has produced tremendous economic growth and impressive opportunities for people to connect with each other and participate in determining their own futures. Indeed, the internet itself is worth trillions of dollars.
We've had tremendous prosperity and improved quality of life from the internet. That's being shared around the world. In the United States, the internet now accounts for almost 7% of GDP, larger than the construction sector and is estimate it 75% of the benefits derived from ICTs, good and non-ICT businesses, in a sense, all companies are becoming technology companies.
In other countries such as Kenya, the ability for people to connect allows them to have the ability to bank they never had before. Millions of people are able to bank and be able to protect their life savings that they never had the opportunity to do before.
With this growth, we've seen challenges. A challenge to structures, political processes, and challenges for connectivity around the world. Some nation-states have responded to the challenges by disrupting service when it interferes with their political interest. When that happens, it punishes small and medium-sized businesses the most because they rely on that connectivity and they're least able to make adaptions and make work-arounds for the disruption in service.
In the last couple of decades, how we've gotten where we are in a model of robust inclusion engagement to solve problems. Going forward, the greatest threat is likely to be a tendency to think of things from a centralized top-down structure as having the best solution. Whereas in the past, we used decentralized, multi-stake holder ways of finding solutions. If we go forward with the more centralized approach, we're going to start having costs imposed in interference with innovation and the ability to have more robust economic changes occur.
You in the private sector, civil society, and the user community and consumers around the world, are on the best place to enact -- to engage in countries around the world. You're the best place to inform countries about which policies are going to be the best going forward to see the full potential of ICT realized.
Because the internet is by its nature transborder, the types of solutions we need to have need to be interoperable, they need to be adopted in the regulatory structures of each nation-state. We in the United States have worked hard with APEC to form a -- to -- in the privacy realm, to address the cross-border privacy rules which is very flexible construct for ensuring that there's privacy, protection of data, but that it does not interfere with innovation going forward.
We need to be careful about false dichotomies. We can have privacy and security on one hand without a battle of localization. Free flow of data does not mean we will have less secure and less control over data. In fact, data localization almost does nothing for improved security.
In the United States we've been thinking very hard recently about what our international engagement should be in cyberspace. The key component is thinking how we should work with the private sector and civil society and others. And we've been thinking that the most productive way in many forums to be engaged is to develop standards that are driven by the private sector that are market-based and that lead us to a conclusion that's -- that's going to not inhibit innovation in any form. Thank you.
>> Nguyen: Thank you so much for sharing with us those remarks and in particular your current thinking and strategies.
All right, next I would like to introduce Ms. Dominique Lazanski who is the public policy director from the GMSA.
>> Lazanski: Thank you. I'm aware we're running out of time. I want to give brief comments. It's nice to hear that a lot of my comments have been said earlier. So, I think there's strength in numbers on a number of the issues that we need to address.
Briefly, I just wanted to point out that the GSMA just released a report on enabling rural coverage. And so this fits right in to what we've been talking about. So, I have about six or seven brief points I just want to mention. Again, a lot of them have been heard across different stake holder groups today.
So, one -- we make a number of recommendations based on our operators' experience in deploying world coverage. And obviously this has quite a number of economic issues associated with it. In particular, there's a couple of things that can be done by governments which include lowering costs, taxation costs or spectrum costs to local operators in order to foster investment but that means lowering costs for consumers on handsets and spectrum. And the user should have mobile devices, the best way and increasingly, the only way that the internet is being accessed across the globe. So, that's one way to foster investment.
Another way is just also to have the government have a constant regulatory and consistent regulatory approach to enabling access. And, again, that's everything from having a longitudinal plan for spectrum as well as having other issues like certainty around market access, different players, different ways that there's a framework that our government has come up with in terms of allowing investment and what that looks like. Certainly, across for operators as well as for other investment is something that's been quite key to a number of operators in order to drive connectivity.
With the regulatory framework, that comes potential investment and infrastructure. One way to ensure investment and infrastructure is to lower red tape across a number of different issues, including planning, which is one we see quite a lot, as well as infrastructure. A number of countries have yet to allow infrastructure sharing from everything from base stations to actual spectrum. And that's something that drives connectivity as well.
Overall, though, our approach tends to be something that we would prefer market competition. A number of our operators have invested heavily in markets that are quite competitive but intervention by government should only happen after there's a market failure, which is the last resort after ensuring there's a lot of dialogue, policies. Someone mentioned legal frameworks and rule of law. All of the issues compound and all of the things we heard allow investment by people who actually build out the infrastructure.
We heard a few other issues but I want to highlight that investment doesn't just include the B-to-B side or the B-to-C side of things, it includes investments in our local communities as well, a number of our partners are working with government and public/private entities to develop skills and literacy which we've heard a lot about today.
Finally, I want to say that Rob mentioned data flows. We have a new report coming out on cross border data flows. And that's something that for our industry is increasingly more important as our operators move from actually owning physical infrastructure to an all IP and software-based networks. It's got to ensure privacy and rule of law as well.
I'm going to stop there. I want to keep it brief so we'll get a chance to answer questions as well. Thank you.
>> Nguyen: Thank you, Dominique, for those comments, and also to highlight the recent release of the GSMA reports and the connectivity. The move to really the last -- the fourth dimension which is governance consideration.
So, we heard about the technology and the social culture aspect of it and the economic considerations. So, what are some of the considerations and approaches to bring these different issues together to really realize the potential of the digital transformation going back to something that rob said. Joining us to explore the governance consideration, I'd like to introduce Mr. Juuso Moisander who's the head of trade at the University of Finland in Washington, D.C. and been involved in internet discussions and follow-ups since 2008. Mr. Moisander?
>> Moisander: It's good to be here. Thank you for the invitation and the opportunity to speak today. Let me give you perspective to this issue. First of all, we consider the private sector and innovation and investors are of crucial importance of governments. Governments want economic prosperity and stable societies. So, the governments need to work with the industry to support development. The government needs to create an enabling environment to provide needed tools such as education, educated workforce, and a stable base for the industry to operate.
And these public-private partnerships are a way to tackle societies and the ever growing challenges we face today such as the urban development that we've heard a lot about today. In Finland, a successful enabler has been a government-funded Finnish funding agency for innovation. For example, in ICTs, the government has run a 5-G test network Finland between industry, academia, and the government.
In Finland, we consider ourselves to be a small enough market for experiments. Legal frameworks we create need to make possible tests and experiments that are not possible elsewhere. I believe we have been quite successful. Finland is the number of countries in the number of startups today. For us, public-private partnerships are a way to look together at what and when to regulate. Good PPPs don't need to be symmetrical. In an enabling environment, all parties benefit from this in the long run.
Looking ahead, the digital revolution has only just started. It brings opportunities, but it also brings challenges. The internet is just phase I of the revolution. We have artificial intelligence, transformed economy, and block change just around the corner.
In Finland, we estimated by 2030, the GDP can grow by 30% if we do this right. Or if we don't, then it doesn't. So, the choice is ours. But we do realize that we can't develop alone. We need the international dimension to this. So, we need to develop principals and guidelines that we use in the development of technologies and global standards in regulation.
The digital revolution brings huge potential for developing countries but we realize the sociocultural aspects affect the development so the models we have cannot be copied. However, as an element to our development policy, we have committed to share our experiences and our best practices in the work that we do with the developing countries. Thank you.
>> Nguyen: Thank you so much for that. And your statement very much can be used as a summary statement, actually, for discussion. So, we very much look forward to hearing more about sort of the best practices that the Finnish government has put in place. Next, I would like to introduce Ms. Ankhi Das, the public director for Facebook in India and also managing south and central Asia as well. Ms. Das.
>> Das: So, thanks, Carolyn. There are two things which I really wanted to talk about to show the intersection of governance measures and the role the private sector and other stakeholders can play in shaping both of the economic and society. Most of you have known or read last year November 8, 2016, the government essentially announced a dramatic measure in India which was de-monetization which meant the legal tender ceased to be so and that was used to push additional payments. Subsequent to that measure, though they were, you know, sort of a degree of discomfort people had, India rallied very fast in terms of just creating this backbone which was there but was not of this kind of a scale operation.
That has led to a projection of 25 billion additional transactions as a goal and it's pretty thought of as an achievable target in terms of achieving those numbers. And it's led to farming and conditioning of the country in terms of promoting digital literacy and letting people use digital cash. It's led to the growth of a sector and to full integration of the informal sector into the formal sector, which means that the sector has much more organized. But sometimes we underestimate the role of policy measures in terms of this form of integration, the impacts it can have in terms of society as well as formalizing the economy. The reason this is significant, because this kind of a scale operation in such a large country impacting millions of people will not have been possible without the role of ICTs becoming front of center.
The second element in government policy making and efforts of other stakeholders, both the startup community and the organized private sector has been really helpful. We saw some of this during the recently concluded GES, local entrepreneurship summit in India where India was a host country this time around was this creation of the technology hub that happen in the city which has led to the creation of the joint innovation spaces which has allowed a form of impact investing to come into the country whereas as companies definitely like Facebook but also others have taken up spaces and need investments in terms of helping the local startup ecosystem come and build on top of those tools.
We've seen a long tale of that coming together in Bangladesh. In Bangladesh, there was a similar focus in terms of bringing capital to impact investing model. Sort of enlightening government policies to make sure they were shared infrastructure and spaces which was created, and third by bringing in the skill side, which is essentially all of the local developers and startups to come together and start building through local means.
So, we'll see a convergence of the open policy, impact capital, and skills coming together. We've seen that in various ways, definitely in south Asia and demonetization and the growth of the tech industry. India is an outstanding standout example of that. On the much smaller scale, we see it in other countries also happening such as Bangladesh and Sri Lanka and also in Pakistan. And I think this is what you're going to see getting capitalized in other countries in south Asia. That can happen in the global south, we do think there's some potential for it to perpetrate itself in other countries as well.
>> Nguyen: Thank you, Ankhi. You heard from our speakers who graciously shared their experience. From the government speakers how, you're thinking about a policy framework to enable the potential of the digital transportation, technology, addressing economic challenges and how to address some of the challenges. You heard from some of our business speakers the specific initiatives they're engaged across the board, at the infrastructure level, capacity building, and also building out the digital ecosystem. I would like to open it to the floor and invite everyone to come in and join us in this discussion for the next few minutes. Yes, please?
>> thank you, I'm Sonya from third world network. My question is to Mr. Strayer. It was interesting that you said data localization does nothing for data security. Why the U.S. government has a 2015 rule that requires all cloud computing service providers that work for the department of defense to store this data inside the U.S. territory? And whether you might think of other considerations, for example, you know the U.S. financial regulatories insisted in the transpacific partnership agreement that financial data and financial services be excluded from the commerce chapter apparently because of concerns about when Lehman brothers went bankrupt in 2008, they had data stored in Hong Kong. They couldn't get that data out in time to unwind the positions, for example, before the market reopens so the U.S., in those two examples, went to the policy space to require the data to be stored locally and it does for the department of defense data. Thank you.
>> These are multifaceted questions. Localization is not a solution. In the United States, we treat our data in a particular way. I think that's why we have a rule for the D.O.D. That's not our general rule. We believe fervently about not having localized data going forward.
>> Thank you.
>> This question is question is for Ms. Das. How has it changed the tech industry and what changed?
>> Das: Could you just repeat that last?
Just what changes you have seen?
>> Das: So, as you know, there is -- just by way of context for everybody, in India, we have a national ID program which is basically known as ADAR which requires every citizen in India to have a unique identity number. The reason for this was essentially the transfer of public services from government to citizens and helping the population at the bottom of the pyramid. But it's raised certain questions in terms of privacy protection. Because historically, India has not had a privacy law. Certain provisions in our act which provided for a limited amount of privacy prediction. As consequence of that and given the scrutiny of it as a platform, as a program, it's under litigation in the Supreme Court where a constitutional bench is reviewing the matter.
The government of India has announced setting up of a high-powered committee which is headed by a former judge of the Supreme Court and under his chairmanship, India is in the process of examining various issues and also formulating the own privacy protection law. The other model is something that's getting looked at in terms of understanding what is the scope of public interests and what are the boundaries of consent? Because as you know in India, the ADAR act makes it mandatory for every Indian to have an identity. There's no opting out of that if you are a citizen of India. It's compulsory.
I think the main question which they're going to consider as far as the next with ADAR is concerned, what is going to be the safeguards in terms of making sure that privacy is protected in a way when public interest also has to be served. We will have to see how the debate unfolds within the committee. And what we hear is that in about two or three months' time, there will be a draft privacy protection law, which the committee is going to service, through a public consultation process which is going to address some of the questions which you raised.
>> Nguyen: Thank you, Ankhi. I'll take one more -- time for maybe one more question, one. If you can keep your comment to two minutes or less, please?
>> Well, I've been asked to make a comment about this session. I'm going to be very brief. I think that --
>> Nguyen: Excuse me, can you introduce yourself to everyone else in the room.
>> Juan Hernandez, a member of the communication and the MAG, the working group of enhanced computation and I was with the government sometime back and I work in the internet society. So, I've been around a while in this.
No, just to say what Mr. Moisander said is very important. This is a very young industry. The rules are still to be written. What Mr. Gjorgjinski said is also very important. Sometime back, there was some confrontation between governments and private sector and other stakeholders about even if rules were needed. Now, what I think that -- the industry has been maturing and everybody is beginning to have more sense. Industry is beginning to realize something that was unheard some years out, that some rules are needed at the global level. Industry needs stability. Industry needs the uniformity of rules. Imagine an industry transnational that had different laws for countries, that's a nightmare. Industry needs uniformity. And in that sense, industry has begun to realize they have to work with governments at the global level in international organizations, in the U.N., to try to get middle ground. I know the work is huge, it's in front of us.
But there's the understanding that some sort of rules and regulation -- you know, that was a bad word in an industry setting some years back. But not any longer.
So, I think that both governments and industry have to work on this. And civil society have a very important role to keep an eye that everything that is done, it has the -- the focus of social the justice and to be, you know, in equity for all and not discrimination and all that.
So, I think the industry is maturing and it's maturing because all actors have realized that we have to talk to each other in order to have a stable, peaceful, and successful environment for prosperity and peace. As Mr. Moisander said and what Mr. Gjorgjinski said before that, that's my ideas. Thank you.
>> Nguyen: Thank you, Juan. The one thing I would add on to your comment, also, is the need to consider the four dimensions we put on the table in terms of technical, socioeconomic, sociocultural, and then governance in achieving what you so nicely summarized here. In closing, what I would like to do is just really go down the line here in terms and ask each of the panelists in a one-minute statement to discuss how can the IGF help in formulating the enabling policy environment. And I'll ask Ellen to go last to summarize everything for us. Jennifer?
>> Chung: I think I'll just begin simply by saying the IGF provides a space for us to gather together to be able to have these really fruitful, really important discussions. And it's really important because as a lot of panelists have touched on, there's the four layers, the four facets, and it's not only just technical side, which I'm coming from, you need to have that in terms hand in hand with the policy discussions too. Also from civil society and especially business and governments. So, that's very necessary to have a meeting to be able to talk about it.
>> Nguyen: Thank you so much, Charles?
>> Bradley: Yeah, I think if we're going to get to a place where we have international guidelines or more clarity, but combine it with national, legal, and regulatory frameworks which deal with the sensitivities and different context, the IGF is in a broad sense just these four days is a good vehicle for that and utilizing the national-regional initiatives and the intercession work can provide a way of sort of maturing that discussion.
>> Nguyen: Thank you. Jivan?
>> Gjorgjinski: Thank you again very much for organizing this. Let me close with a few thoughts based around block chain to bring together everything in terms of this climate of legality. Because I use the words, "climate of legality." There's a need for resilience, there's a need for elasticity in how we approach this. This is what the IGF has brought. But I would say that the IGF has not taken the next step yet, and that is we have 11 years now of a lot of knowledge. And each year, the knowledge is regurgitated without there being a step forward based on that knowledge.
So, when we think of block chains, for instance, we can think of the possibilities but we have to think of the consequences. In terms of the socioeconomic aspect. You need to think, okay, what requires a ledger that could memorize everything for permanence. But what stuff should be memorized and how -- there's a lot of power aspects in terms of what is put in a ledger when.
One block chain has been mentioned to introduce a new internet. So, you know, when we're thinking about the, you know, these aspects, block chain can be used for a parallel internet. Should be going in that direction. We've been talking about new internets created to some state's current structures. Block chain would not be such a state-sponsored approach. We need to be really think about all of these things from a different perspective, from an ethical perspective as well when we're taking about governance.
So perhaps one good way of thinking about this is to think about a block chain. All of these 11 years for somebody the MAG or someone else to start thinking about how to use this knowledge in a way that is productive. Because for all of these things, we've had solutions, and they just hang there. They're on a website in a forum, they're on this and that. But we're not using the knowledge properly. Those are the thoughts, cheers.
>> Nguyen: Thank you for that. I hope you'll take an initiative to start intercessional work on that. That's a fascinating idea.
>> I agree with the talk. It's very important. Bring together the international level. So, it's all about integration, to learn from each other. All about international integration, all about national integration. But let me tell you that nothing will happen when ever testing the grassroots. Test the grassroots and get the lesson learned for the people we targeted it will not succeed. So, I invite you all -- that we have two sessions. We present and demonstrate our initiatives into the grassroots and those areas, one on the smart solution and IOT and the other one on 20 for the digital inclusion. So, thank you for availing all of this best practice together. But the -- we have to have something concrete for the next step. I agree with you too. We need some regulations, some focus on the best practice to be leveraged and disseminated. Thank you very much.
>> Nguyen: Thank you, Bobby?
>> Bedi: Very quickly --
I think the IGF needs to give some slightly larger importance to the socio, cultural, and engagement factors of the internet. Because that's finally what is actually bringing the population of the world together. And it will make the world -- well, more peaceful and a more fun place to be in. And I think the fun quotient should not be ignored in conferences of this scale.
>> Nguyen: Thank you for reminding us to have fun. Rob?
>> STUDENT: The multifaceted and interconnected challenges we're facing in the internet are issues that governments do not have a monopoly of expertise in or actually the depth to actually solve them. We need a strong multi-stake holder input, constructive input of users, businesses, governments, and advocates.
>> Nguyen: Thank you, Dominique?
>> Lazanski: Thanks, as heard, the idea is great for convening different stakeholders. I like meeting people randomly in the hallway and having discussions like that. The one thing I do want to say on a slightly more serious note is that the IGF should be the place for all stakeholders to come and be discuss these issues. What's happening right now is there are many, many new forum that are opening up and I feel there's a delusion of a discussion of a place we can go to take about this as all stakeholders so I think that the IGF needs to maintain a fact that it's a great place to bring all of the stakeholders together.
>> Nguyen: Thank you for reinforcing that, Ankhi?
>> Das: For me, personally, the real learning has been to how it cascaded and build grassroots momentum on the principles-based approach and allow for real participation. What we need to do is build on as Bobby said, figure out mechanisms and maybe create some models where we can allow for our grounds or sort of create some of those financial measures to help support a greater diversity coming into the room.