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Second G20 DEWG focuses on digital connectivity for recovery
Second G20 DEWG focuses on digital connectivity for recovery, 5/19/2022 - The Indonesian government has urged the G20 Digital Economy Working Group (DEWG) to continue the discussion on digital connectivity.

"I believe we have all witnessed the importance of information and communication technology in helping people cope with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic," Minister of Communication and Informatics, Johnny G. Plate, stated.

The DEWG is part of the Indonesian G20 Sherpa Track. The working group originated with the formation of the G20 Digital Economy Task Force (DETF) in 2017 during the German G20 presidency.

The working group was mandated to discuss the implementation of an interconnected, protected, and safe digital technology to develop an inclusive, resilient, and sustainable digital economy.

The second DEWG meeting, under Indonesia's G20 presidency, which is being held in Yogyakarta on May 17-19, 2022, discusses the issue of digital connectivity.

As the chair of the 2022 G20 Presidency, Indonesia has encouraged the 2022 G20 DEWG participants to discuss three priority issues: digital connectivity and post-COVID-19 recovery; digital skills and digital literacy; as well as cross-border data flow and trusted free data flow.

At the meeting, Minister Plate emphasized the importance of overcoming the digital divide by building digital connectivity or telecommunications infrastructure.

During the second DEWG meeting, he urged that the discussion focus on inclusiveness, empowerment, and sustainability for strengthening the global position and recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The digital divide has remained an issue until now. According to data from the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), in 2021, a total of 2.9 billion people across the world had never used the Internet.

Meanwhile, according to the World Bank data for Indonesia, 94 million adults could not access the Internet via mobile devices in 2019.

"The digital divide remains a challenge. Those who have access to fixed broadband Internet are even fewer," Plate pointed out.

The digital divide has become one of the reasons for the G20 DEWG forum to discuss the issue of digital connectivity.

The Ministry of Communication and Informatics, which is in charge of the DEWG, is seeking to address the digital divide by strengthening collaboration to drive massive construction of digital infrastructure between G20 member countries and the rest of the world.

Digital Connectivity

The discussion on connectivity has become more relevant in the wake of a global economic turmoil that has affected food, commodities, and energy availability as well as caused the inflation rate to soar.

"The discussion on digital connectivity becomes important at the second DEWG meeting because after the COVID-19 pandemic, the economy is greatly supported through the use of digital connections in solving various community problems as well as empowering the community itself," Minister Plate emphasized.

Plate further accentuated that the pandemic had shown the extent to which people are dependent on digital ecosystems in various public sectors, such as education, health and, of course, economic development.

Taking into account the importance of the digital connectivity issue, the priority issue of DEWG is discussed in five subtopics.

First, Plate said, DEWG discusses a common understanding of digital connectivity by placing the community as the main focus of the digital connectivity development efforts.

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