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Delivered by Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana

15 March 2022


Excellencies, distinguished participants, ladies and gentlemen,

It is my pleasure to speak at the Kickoff Event of the G20 Digital Economy Working Group 2022.

We are living through a decisive moment.  The devasting impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is reaching every corner of the world.  A defining feature of the post-pandemic world is the digital transformation that has permeated every aspect of our lives.

The pandemic has accelerated the digitalization of economies and societies at an unimaginable pace.

While digital technologies have been a lifeline to many during the pandemic, many have been left behind and lack the digital skills to engage in the digital economy.

Enhancing the digital literacy of its citizens and strengthening the digital skills of its labor force are two important priorities for countries to achieve inclusive digital transformation.

I commend the Ministry of Communication and Informatics of Indonesia for prioritizing “digital skills and digital literacy” as a priority area for deliberation for the G20 Digital Economy Working Group.

I also commend the Working Group’s focus on ensuring that vulnerable groups can engage in the digital economy.

Ensuring that the digital transformation happening all around us does not become yet another facet of deep inequality is now probably one of the greatest challenges we face as countries start to rebuild.

Inclusion must be at the heart of the digital transformation and policies if the promise to “leave no one behind” is to be met.

ESCAP was very honored to be invited last year by the Ministry of to be a partner in the development of a “Digital Skills Strategy of Indonesia”.  We are equally honored to be invited as a knowledge partner to support the G20 Digital Economy Working Group.

Specifically, we look forward to sharing a toolkit for measuring digital skills and literacy that we have developed in partnership with the Center for Strategic and International Studies and Digital Pathways at Oxford University.  We also look forward to working with you all to develop a set of ambitious and concrete recommendations to improve participation of vulnerable groups in the digital economy, which will form part of the outcome documents and declarations of the G20 meetings.

I wish you all the very best for the G20 Digital Economy Working Group.

Thank you very much.

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