Capturing Digital South-South Opportunities to Promote Sustainable Development

Jan 30, 2019 | Events

10 December, Hong Kong – The Finance Centre for South-South Cooperation’s (FCSSC) annual South-South Financial Forum was convened in Hong Kong on 10 December in partnership with the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC). The forum, “2018 South-South Cooperation in a Digital World” highlighted the contribution and importance of South-South Cooperation in promoting and advancing digital technologies and finance in building digital economies across the Global South. As part of the efforts in working towards the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Goals and promoting South-South Cooperation, UNOSSC and the FCSSC believe that recent changes driven by digital technologies have helped realize more prosperous and inclusive development, especially in the context of South-South Cooperation. The forum brought together representatives from relevant government departments, financial institutions, private sector actors, international organizations and scholars that have participated in the “Digital World” construction. The forum focused on areas including increased advocacy for the role of new technology in achieving sustainable development, making technology more accessible to countries of the Global South and promoting South-South cooperation in a digital world. The forum also focused on how to promote the transfer and diffusion of technology in developing countries in learning from the digital experiences of emerging markets.     Hany Besada, UNOSSC Senior Research Coordinator, made a short presentation that focused on digital technology to promote the attainment of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The presentation focused on the importance of South-South cooperation in capturing digital opportunities to promote achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. Mr. Besada also participated in a closed seminar co-organized with the FCSSC, Fudan University’s Six Industrial Research Institute and UNOSSC on December 10. The seminar brought together key Chinese and international academics, business leaders and policy makers who make up an advisory board to discuss the content of a forthcoming report titled “South-South. Cooperation in a Digital World”. This policy relevant, academically rigorous report, to be published by the three above-mentioned institutions examines how to make full use of the changes brought about by digital technologies to realize more prosperous and inclusive development toward the attainment of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The report first analyzes digital opportunities and challenges in South-South cooperation, then makes judgments on the development prospects and trends of digital industries in developing countries, and finally puts forward proposals for digital industrial cooperation in South-South cooperation. The report focuses on the impact of digital technology in promoting cross-border trade and trade facilitation, the application of smart contracts in cross-border trade, and smart supervision issues. The report also focuses on analyzing the potential of digital finance to promote the development of inclusive finance, and proposes developing digital financial infrastructure, human capital investment and capacity building in developing countries. Finally, the report will explore the development of smart society in the digital world, including digital education, Internet health care and social networking, and promote the inclusive development of countries of the South. The report will be published and launched next year alongside the Second High-level United Nations Conference on South-South Cooperation (BAPA+40) in Buenos Aires, Argentina.