EU-Asia digital cooperation: investments for recovery and resilience

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EU-Asia digital cooperation: investments for recovery and resilience

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Europe and Asia are deeply linked through trade, economic and political interactions. They have also both suffered greatly from the pandemic and the drastic measures needed to curb the spread of the virus. But while the outbreak of COVID-19 has exacerbated existing trends and inequalities, it has also forced societies to quicken the pace of the digital transition and opened new doors for technological innovation.

Generating a sustainable, inclusive economic growth model of recovery and resilience will depend not only on international cooperation, but also on multi-stakeholder dialogue which addresses the challenges presented by this new wave of technology.

This Café Crossfire debate is part of Friends of Europe’s work on digitalisation, which helps think through the implications of the digital revolution, bringing together a wide range of stakeholder and community perspectives and experiences to play a role in shaping policy thinking and developments. We work across policy areas, taking a whole society, whole economy approach to ensure that digital is a force for good and that citizens are empowered to navigate a digital 21st century.


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PHOTO CREDIT: Randall Bruder on Unsplash

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EU-Asia digital cooperation: investments for recovery and resilience Expand EU-Asia digital cooperation: investments for recovery and resilience

Europe and Asia are deeply linked through trade, economic and political interactions. They have also both suffered greatly from the pandemic and the drastic measures needed to curb the spread of the virus. But while the outbreak of COVID-19 has exacerbated existing trends and inequalities, it has also forced societies to quicken the pace of the digital transition and opened new doors for technological innovation.

Digital innovation is now, more than ever, the best way of generating green, inclusive growth. While the EU plans to deepen its investment into digital connectivity as part of its recovery and growth strategy – including further development of 5G networks – Asia is one of the most vibrant economic regions in the world and is leading growth of the digital economy.

Indeed, interactions between Europe and Asia increasingly involve the tech sector. The EU maintains annual ICT dialogues and working groups with many of its Asian partners – including China, India, Japan and South Korea. The digital economy forms an integral part of trade negotiations. And discussions over issues such as AI, blockchain, 5G and the internet of things take place through various fora on a regular basis.

A just and fair global recovery depends not only on international cooperation, but also on multi-stakeholder dialogue which addresses the challenges presented by a new wave of technology. Modern trade agreements reflecting mutual and shared needs have the potential to drive Asia-EU relations into a new phase, re-setting traditional frameworks that have too often thought ‘west first’. Getting this right will be at the heart of generating a sustainable, inclusive economic growth model of recovery and resilience. As Europe and Asia reflect on their next moves, it will be important for the Asian tech sector to be at the heart of these conversations.

  • What role can the tech industry play in helping to foster recovery and resilience post-COVID 19?
  • How can Europe and Asia work together to improve digital infrastructure and communication worldwide?
  • How can tech players be better involved in shaping policy and investment in digital infrastructures to address the current and future needs of citizens and industries?

Speakers

Helani Galpaya

Chief Executive Officer of LIRNEasia

Stefan Schnorr

Director-General for Digital and Innovation Policy at the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy

Moderator

Dharmendra Kanani

Director of Insights at Friends of Europe

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Speakers

Speakers

Helani Galpaya
Helani Galpaya

Chief Executive Officer of LIRNEasia

Show more information on Helani Galpaya

Helani Galpaya researches and engages in public discourse on issues related to net neutrality, policy and regulatory barriers in internet access, e-government and broadband quality of service. She also studies the changing nature of labour as a result of digitisation. Galpaya serves on several boards, including the Board of Editors of the Information Technology & International Development journal and the Board of Directors of the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data. She is also a member of the UN Internet Governance Forum’s Multistakeholder Advisory Group and was previously an advisor to the UN Broadband Commission’s Working Group on Bridging the Gender Divide.

Photo credit: Dinidu de Alwis / LIRNEasia

Stefan Schnorr
Stefan Schnorr

Director-General for Digital and Innovation Policy at the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy

Show more information on Stefan Schnorr

A legal expert, Stefan Schnorr has a long history of government service, having held positions at both the national and regional levels in Germany. Today, he serves in the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, which aims to foster Germany’s innovation capacity by creating an environment that is conducive to investment. Part of this effort includes helping small- and medium-sized enterprises to embrace new innovations and digitisation. Before joining the federal government, Schnorr served in Berlin as Deputy Director-General for Federal Affairs at the Representation of Rhineland-Palatinate to the Federal Government and the European Union and as Head of the Representation of Lower Saxony to the Federal Government.

Dharmendra Kanani
Dharmendra Kanani

Director of Insights at Friends of Europe

Show more information on Dharmendra Kanani

Prior to joining Friends of Europe, Dharmendra Kanani was director of policy at the European Foundation Centre (EFC). He was the England director at the Big Lottery Fund, the largest independent funder in the UK and fourth largest in the world. Dharmendra has held senior positions in the public and voluntary sector and advisor to numerous ministerial policy initiatives across the UK.

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