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G20 Urged to Aim for Inclusive Digital Transformation, Sustainable Investment and Industrialisation in TIIWG Meet

20 September 2022
G20 Indonesia

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Bali, 20 September 2022: Raising collective action and strengthening commitments under Indonesia’s Group of Twenty (G20) Trade, Investment and Industry (TII) priorities were the focus of the G20 3rd Trade, Investment and Industry Working Group (TIIWG) Meeting on 19–20 September 2022 at the Sofitel Nusa Dua Bali Resort in Bali, Indonesia. The meeting discussed recommendations by the public and private sectors, international organisations, and non-governmental organisations to finalise the Ministerial Statement.

Indonesia’s G20 TII priorities are World Trade Organization reforms; the role of multilateral trading system to strengthen the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals; trade, investment, and industry response to the COVID-19 pandemic and global health architecture; digital trade and global value chains (GVCs); spurring sustainable investment for global economic recovery; and sustainable and inclusive industrialisation via Industry 4.0.

During the discussion on digital trade and GVCs, Dr Lili Yan Ing, Lead Advisor for Southeast Asia Region at the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA), explained the impact of digital transformation, a process that reduces the cost of sharing information but potentially causes displacement effects in labour markets that widen income inequality. To ensure that digital transformation can benefit everyone, she suggested three points to G20 members: continue to pursue international cooperation to address regulatory and institutional barriers to digital trade and support the development of a global framework on digital trade and e-commerce; strengthen digital trade facilitation, with particular emphasis on ensuring a level playing field for all, including more vulnerable groups such as micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises, women, and youth; and continue to support policies that incentivise greater adoption of digital technology, including significant investment in digital infrastructure and retraining of the workforce to engage in the digital economy.

During discussions on sustainable investment and Industry 4.0, Dr Ing underlined the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the rising global political tensions that have posed serious challenges to the global economy, along with two long-standing development issues: rising inequality and climate change. To address these issues, she said investment measures in promoting sustainable, climate-resilient, and inclusive investment should be facilitated, and sustainability and inclusivity in the transition towards Industry 4.0, particularly in manufacturing, should be considered. She recommended that the G20 members  continue and build on existing multilateral collaboration, such as the WTO Joint Statement on Investment Facilitation for Development, for a more sustainable, predictable, non-discriminatory, and transparent investment climate; and pay greater attention to systematic efforts to improve the skills of their workforce as they transition towards Industry 4.0 to avoid widening inequalities as an unintended consequence. She emphasised the importance of sustainable investment and sustainable industrialisation as the foundation for resilient and inclusive economic recovery. Noting the importance of sharing the best practices on sustainable investment, Dr Ing voiced her support for the proposed establishment of G20 Sustainable Investment Policy Compedium.

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