ERIA Attends the G20 Ministerial Meeting on Trade and Digital Economy
Tsukuba, 8-9 June 2019: A delegation from the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA), headed by the President, Prof Hidetoshi Nishimura, was invited to attend the G20 Ministerial Meeting on Trade and Digital Economy on 8 and 9 June in Tsukuba, Japan. Prof Nishimura also had a bilateral meeting with H.E. Rudiantara, Minister of Communication and Information Technology of Indonesia, on the margins of the Ministerial Meeting.
The ERIA delegation participated in every session in the two-day event, including sessions on Digital Economy, Trade and Digital Economy, and Trade. In the Digital Economy Session, the ministers exchanged their opinions on the concept of ‘Data Free Flow with Trust’ (Japan’s idea to create a set of international rules governing the free flow of data), human-centric artificial intelligence, digital security and sustainable development goals, and inclusion.
Prof Nishimura expressed ERIA’s view that the Free Flow of Data with Trust is an excellent initiative and very important for small- and medium-sized countries such as many ASEAN Member States. He emphasised the need to establish effective international arrangements that ensure interoperability of different data governance frameworks.
In the Trade and Digital Economy Session, the ministers discussed issues related to the interface between trade and the digital economy including the concept of data free flow with trust, WTO discussions on electronic commerce, and needs for capacity building, bearing in mind the importance of ensuring that all countries are able to realise their opportunities.
In the Trade Session, the ministers discussed current international trade developments, a sound business environment that promotes market driven investment decisions, promotion of trade and investment that contributes to sustainable and inclusive growth, WTO reform, as well as recent developments in bilateral and regional trade agreements.
In the bilateral meeting with H.E. Rudiantara, Prof Nishimura asked for advice on what ERIA will be expected to do as a follow-up for the Project 2045, especially on ‘Digital Technologies to Improve Quality of Life’. H.E. Rudiantara asked ERIA to determine Indonesia’s human capital needs every five years, highlighting the importance of education and human resource development.