Promoting Global Cooperation through Digital Economy
Edited by QI Liming
The Digital economy has played a significant role in global economic development over the past few years. Chinese President Xi Jinping recently made a call to grasp the trend of digital economic development and promote the sound development of the digital economy in the country.
Xi also called for further participation in global cooperation of the digital economy and engagement in the digital economy agenda set by international organizations, to contribute China solutions and make the country's voice heard.
Countries from Africa and the "Belt and Road Initiative" are showing great interest in cooperation with China through the digital economy and are voicing their thoughts on the issue via various media platforms.
China -Africa digital cooperation highlighted
Gert Grobler, former senior diplomat of the South African Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO), said on the Forum on China -Africa Cooperation website that the digital economy plays a significant role in Africa's post COVID -19 recovery and provides huge opportunities for innovative development and improved livelihoods.
"Africa can learn from China's experience in developing digital technology and economy. Meanwhile, many Chinese companies have been deeply integrated into the digital development of the African continent, producing tangible results in infrastructure construction and talent cultivation, which has already achieved win - win results," he said.
Africa increasingly sees the digital economy as the key point to its economic recovery. With the under-20 population on the continent increasing by more than 25 percent over the past decade, providing high -quality digital tools to the young generation is critical to the success of the digital economy.
Grobler added that Africa recognizes that China has a strong, yet growing digital economy that effectively drives innovation and production in China. Because of this, China has successfully combined the development of emerging technologies with strong GDP growth, which is exactly what Africa wants to learn from.
"We hope that China and Africa will continue to consult, formulating and implementing the partnership as soon as possible. Besides, a number of projects will be launched in the near future, including an optical fiber backbone network of China -Africa cooperation, the e-commerce promotion season for African products, and the China-Africa BDS Cooperation Forum," he said.
Untapped potential in digital economy in Malaysia - China trade
In delivering his opening address virtually at the 130th China Import and Export Fair opening ceremony on October 14, Malaysian Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said that the digital economy, the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and the adoption of sustainable development are "domains with untapped economic potentials" in the bilateral trade between Malaysia and China.
Yaakob said these three areas have untapped potential, although investments and bilateral trade between the two nations have been growing steadily since 2009, whereby China has continued to be Malaysia's largest trading partner, accounting for 18.6 percent of total trade in 2020.
Touching on the digital economy, Ismail Sabri said Malaysia had launched the MyDIGITAL initiative early this year to further accelerate the country's digital transformation.
China's digital development gaining momentum
Chinese companies are speeding up their digital transformation and deploying innovative technologies, including cloud computing, artificial intelligence and big data to improve operational efficiency and reduce costs, according to market research company International Data Corp (IDC).
"The next five years will be a golden period for pushing forward digitalization, and the governments around the world have attached great significance to digitalization," said Kitty Fok, managing director of IDC China, during the 2021 IDC Digital Transformation Summit on October 15, adding that rapid development of the digital economy will bolster the advancement of digitalization.
China's information and communication technology market is expected to reach 711.1 billion USD in 2021, up 9.3 percent from 2020. The country's expenditure on digital transformation is estimated to reach 1.5 trillion USD in the 2021-2024 period, with an average annual growth rate of 17 percent, IDC said in a report.
So, countries from Africa and the "Belt and Road Initiative" can share the dividends of the digital economy with China through deepening cooperation.