Tag Archives: Asia

GSMA: Free Flow of Data across Borders Essential for Asia’s Digital Economies

GSMAGovernments in Asia can expand the region’s digital economy and unlock further socio-economic benefits for their citizens by removing unnecessary restrictions on the movement of data internationally, according to a new report released by the GSMA today at the Mobile 360 – Digital Societies conference in Bangkok. The study, ‘Regional Privacy Frameworks and Cross-Border Data Flows’, reveals that striking the right balance in the region’s data privacy regulations could significantly enhance economic activity and future innovation in 5G, the Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI).

Over the past decade, international data flows have increased global GDP by 10.1 per cent, and their annual contribution to global GDP has already surpassed US $2.8 trillion1 – a larger share than the global trade in goods. The ability to transfer, store and process data enables commerce, spurs innovation, and drives the development of new technologies, platforms, services and infrastructure.

Although the Asia Pacific region has made good progress in the development of data privacy frameworks that protect consumers while also allowing data to flow across borders, the report highlights that variances in data privacy laws across countries is holding back trade and innovation. The report also calls for better links at a regional level between Asia’s two main privacy frameworks – the ASEAN Framework on Personal Data Protection and the APEC Privacy Framework – to enable cross-border data flows.

“The immense economic opportunities arising from the digital economy and data flows are indisputable,” said Boris Wojtan, Director of Privacy, GSMA. “Working towards a pan-Asian approach to data privacy is critical to protecting the rights of individuals and unlocking this economic potential, not only in Asia, but around the world. Regulating people’s personal information by a patchwork of geographically bound privacy laws will only restrict how Asian companies can innovate and bring better products and services to consumers in the future. Now is an important time for all countries to take actions to bridge the differences in their privacy regulation and achieve greater alignment.”

The study evaluated various regional data privacy frameworks and their key principles, while diving down into individual countries to identify national approaches to privacy regulation. It highlights specific steps that all countries, including less developed states, can take to support greater alignment across Asia. Some of the key recommendations included in the report are:

  • APEC and ASEAN governments should consider the options outlined in the study to bridge the differences between their respective privacy frameworks and seek interoperability with other regional frameworks;
  • Countries should advance the alignment of national-level privacy regimes by conducting a landscape analysis to see where they stand in terms of data privacy and reviewing the experience of other governments in the region to understand common paths forward;
  • Policymakers in government and privacy enforcement authorities should support deeper collaboration and cross-learning across the region; and
  • Governments should also draw on non-government privacy experts in the private sector and academia to inform their approaches.

The GSMA also today released its report, ‘Cross-Border Data Flows: Realising Benefits and Removing Barriers’, which describes the benefits of global data flows for individuals, businesses and governments, and explores the damaging impact of increased data localisation measures, which can either require companies to store data locally, or even prohibit companies from transferring personal data altogether. The report calls for governments globally to commit to removing unnecessary localisation measures and enable data to flow cross-border through improved approaches to protecting people’s data.

The ‘Regional Privacy Frameworks and Cross-Border Data Flows’ report is available here in English.

The ‘Cross-Border Data Flows: Realising Benefits and Removing Barriers’ report is available here in English.

source: https://business.financialpost.com

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Standing Out in the Digital Economy

The pace of digital transformation is accelerating. How do we remain competitive and develop new skills for the ever-changing career market?

According to a recent study, the pace of digital transformation is accelerating. The study reveals by 2021, it is estimated that digital transformation will add US$9 billion to Hong Kong’s total GDP, and will increase the growth rate by 0.5% annually. At least 60 percent of Hong Kong’s GDP will be digitalized, with growth in every industry driven by digitally-enhanced offerings, operations and relationships.

Entitled “Unlocking the Economic Impact of Digital Transformation in Asia Pacific”, the study was produced by Microsoft in partnership with IDC Asia/Pacific. It was based on the survey of 615 business leaders from the manufacturing sector across 15 markets in the region, including Mainland China, Hong Kong, Australia, Indonesia, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam.

“The study finds that 79 percent of jobs in Hong Kong will be transformed in the next three years and 60 percent of which will be redeployed to higher value roles, or reskilled to meet the need of the digital age,” says Cally Chan, General Manager, Microsoft Hong Kong, in the company’s press release.

Digital transformation has been penetrating into every single industry. Employees are beginning to worry whether their jobs will soon be replaced by machines and robots. In terms of job displacement, the report says 23 percent of new jobs are expected to be created from digital transformation.

“Despite the impact on jobs being mitigated, organizations should work on partnering with governments and education institutions to provide feedback, training and reskilling programs so that the workforce is equipped with future-ready skill sets,” says Chan who holds an Executive MBA from The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) Business School.

Facing the accelerating force of digitalization, how will our workplace be transformed? What kind of impact will it bring to the career market?

To answer the questions, one needs to understand the difference between a hardware-centric economy and a software-centric economy, according to Prof. Shige Makino from the Department of Management at CUHK Business School.

“In a hardware-centric economy, firms emphasize the importance of teamwork. For a team to work well, all employees need to learn and improve the same level of skills at the same pace,” says Prof. Makino.

Under a hardware-centric economy, having ‘star employees’ is not as important as having all employees working as teams who share the same skill sets, commit to continuous improvement, and engage actively in mutual communication and coordination.

“In this type of economy, productivity improves while reducing differences among individuals,” he says.

In a software centric economy, on the other hand, firms emphasize the importance of specialists in digital technology.

“For digital innovation to happen, employees do not need to share specialized skills or knowledge for software development. Firms need simply to find one genius software programmer who can write an innovative software to change the business landscape. Hence, in this type of economy, productivity improves while creating differences among individuals.”

Prof. Makino says that digital transformation has shifted our society from a hardware-centric to a software-centric economy. This shift has a long-lasting impact on the career market, too.

“The career market in the hardware-centric economy requires a leader who can manage a team effectively, whereas the career market in the software-centric one looks for specialists (e.g., data scientists) who can understand and create innovation,” he says. “Digital transformation will create a huge demand for business experts.”

“The key capability demanded for the future career market is ‘networking ability’ – the ability to identify, analyze, and link individuals and firms that can complement each other’s needs and strengths.” – Prof. Shige Makino

If so, will our existing careers all disappear in a software-centric economy eventually?

Prof. Makino is not pessimistic at all, as he sees how the two types of economies can be complementary to each other.

“In the digital economy, firms will need managers who can connect teams and also work with specialists,” he says. “These managers are not only good at managing an organization effectively but can also understand the latest technology and innovation, and how they can apply to future business developments.”

He believes that there will actually be more opportunities for collaborations between established firms and new ventures in future, too. For example, a manufacturing firm with financial resources, logistic infrastructure and a good reputation will benefit from bringing in some cutting-edge technology. Similarly, new ventures creating cutting-edge technology but lacking resources and infrastructure will be able to expand their business by working with well-established, reputable firms.

“There will be a great need for experts who can connect these two types of enterprises. The key capability demanded for the future career market is ‘networking ability’ – the ability to identify, analyze, and link individuals and firms which complement each other’s needs and strengths.”

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source: https://cbk.bschool.cuhk.edu.hk