Jan 25, 2019 (China Knowledge) - Luohan Academy, an open research institute and think tank initiated by Alibaba Group Holdings has released its first report which examines the much-debated topic of how digital technology and economic growth relate to each other at the 2019 World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos.
The Luohan Academy was launched in June last year to address universal challenges that arise from the rapid development of digital technologies. The academy features 16 Nobel Prize laureates and prominent academics as committee members and aims to connect top scholars around the world to resolve pressing issues on the digital economy together to advance technological research and make a greater impact on our society.
The report examines in detail the role digital technology can play as a driver for inclusive growth, unlike previous technological revolutions; when policies and public-private sector cooperation turn supportive.
The report was launched at event co-hosted with the World Bank, which featured speeches of expert panellists such as HM Queen Maxima of the Netherlands and UN Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance and Development; Kristalina Georgieva, CEO of the World Bank; Michael Spence, Professor of Economics at New York University and Nobel Prize Winner; Jack Ma, Alibaba Group Executive Chairman, and Chen Long, Director of Luohan Academy.
In addition, more than 100 delegates from the WEF also attended the launch event. These delegates include government officials, chief executives, academics, heads of international organizations and development agencies.
The paper, titled as “Digital Technology and Inclusive Growth” was co-authored by a team of world-leading social scientists and economists, featuring three Nobel Laureates who are also part of Luohan’s academic team. The paper uses China and other emerging economies as case studies to analyse how the application of digital technologies such as e-commerce and mobile payments can spur growth for business and bring benefits to disadvantaged consumers.
The paper argues that the current age of digital revolution allows for benefits to be more evenly distributed than any previous similar technological revolutions due to public-private joint efforts and supportive policies.
In the exposition, the paper posits that widespread adoption and application of digital technology is no longer dependent on income and economic development at the macro level while digital technology also makes it easier for consumers to start businesses, reach costumers and access financing at a micro level.
Following this, the paper goes on to identify how digital technologies have made a significant contribution towards inclusive growth in China and offers some insights on how to apply the lessons learnt in China to other markets.
Some of these lessons include, placing lowering of skill thresholds on equal priority with raising skill levels, leveraging digital platform to create an ecosystem for inclusive growth, forming effective public-private partnerships to ensure a supportive growth environment for the private sector and managing unexpected effects such as technological unemployment and private information abuse.
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