ADBI Dean Urges Global Support for Digitalization-Based Recovery

ADBI News Release | 10 July 2020

Tokyo, Japan – Capitalizing on the accelerating digital transformation of economies in the COVID-19 era will be key to ensuring an inclusive crisis recovery, according to recommendations from ADBI Dean Tetsushi Sonobe highlighted during a multi-week world think tank town hall initiative to promote evidence-based pandemic solutions that concludes on 10 July.

“Global leaders should scale up digital infrastructure investment and digital skills development to leverage increasing demand for digitalization as a driver of economic recovery for all,” explained Dean Sonobe. His assessment helped to shape the COVID-19 guidance formulated by think tank experts from over 80 countries who participated in the town hall initiative, organized by the University of Pennsylvania’s Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program.

Dean Sonobe noted the importance of deploying measures that broaden the development of digital infrastructure and solutions that improve productivity, work-life balance, government effectiveness, and social welfare.

He called for more action to address challenges such as the adverse labor market impacts of innovation on vulnerable groups and growing digital divides.

“It is imperative that global leaders tackle biases and promote digital inclusion, as well as build on efforts to combat cyber threats and safeguard privacy,” said Dean Sonobe. “Confronting emerging digitization risks will be critical to strengthening people’s socio-economic well-being amid these difficult times.”

He further pointed to the need for adequate regulation and governance of digital economies.

“Anti-trust legislation and closing tax loopholes domestically and internationally could help mitigate market concentration and tax-base erosion by tech giants,” Dean Sonobe said. “Capturing tax revenues could free up resources to support digitalization, while rewarding innovative SMEs and startups that drive job creation and sustainable growth with a larger slice of the pie.”

“Global leaders can inspire hope in people around the world by pointing the way to toward a global digital economy that leaves no one behind,” he concluded.