IANS

G-20 for WTO reform, use of tech for growth

Buenos Aires, Dec 2 (IANS) The G-20 group of the world’s largest economies have pledged here on the final day of a two-day summit in the Argentine capital to strive to maximise the possibilities for enhanced growth and productivity offered by technology.

The final declaration also said the World Trade Organization (WTO) needs to be reformed.

“To maximize the benefits of digitalization and emerging technologies for innovative growth and productivity, we will promote measures to boost micro, small and medium enterprises and entrepreneurs, bridge the digital gender divide and further digital inclusion,” the declaration titled “Building consensus for fair and sustainable development” read on, Efe new reported on Sunday.

The six-page, 31-point text, signed by all G-20 participants on Saturday, offers an overview of the main issues of concern to the world’s 20 largest developed and developing economies.

The G-20 leaders reaffirmed the importance of addressing issues of security in the use of information and communications technology.

They also expressed their support for the “free flow of information, ideas and knowledge, while respecting applicable legal frameworks and working to build consumer trust, privacy, data protection and intellectual property rights protection”.

“We will continue our work on artificial intelligence, emerging technologies and new business platforms,” the document read.

The declaration underscored the potential positive aspects of the new technologies, while acknowledging that disruptions are inevitable.

“Transformative technologies are expected to bring immense economic opportunities, including new and better jobs, and higher living standards. The transition, however, will create challenges for individuals, businesses and governments. Policy responses and international cooperation will help ensure that the benefits of the technological transformation are widely shared.”

Referring to international trade and investment, the text said they are both “important engines of growth, productivity, innovation, job creation and development”.

Although the declaration said the multilateral trading system has made contributions to all of those goals, it concluded that the system was “currently falling short of its objectives and there is room for improvement.”

“We therefore support the necessary reform of the WTO to improve its functioning. We will review progress at our next summit.”

–IANS
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