Government • 04 February, 2019

International experts: we need to think about how innovations affect people

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Second annual forum “Digital Agenda in the Era of Globalization 2.0. Innovation Ecosystem of Eurasia” took place Feb. 1 in Almaty with the participation of prime ministers of the member states of the Eurasian Economic Union. Before the event, international experts told PrimeMinister.kz about the importance of developing digitalization and shared their own expectations from the forum.

Consultant for the Transformation of Digital Economy, former Director General of the Malaysian Digital Economy Corporation Yasmin Mahmood notes that the innovation ecosystem goes global and now the task is to think about how the ecosystem leads to improved employment, how many Kazakhstani startups can position themselves in the regional arena respectively on the global.

Director General of Tlabs, Dean of the Faculty of Economics and Finance at Singularity University Amin Toufani also spoke about the benefits of digitalization for employment. According to him, many traditional professions lose their relevance — people should retrain, including in the direction of digitalization. Toufani notes that platforms such as Facebook, Amazon, Alibaba at the very beginning of their activities were underestimated, and now we see a completely different picture.

“What did the online library facilities do? We say that the level of readiness of the respondents is much higher than before. Thus, an ecosystem is important, first of all, for a person; you need to take care and think what this ecosystem will bring to a particular person, a particular citizen. When we think about innovations, we need to think about how this very innovation will affect people,” said Toufani.

Director of the Identification Systems Center of Belarus, a member of the Coordinating Council of the Eurasian Economic Commission Victor Dravitsa said that if the last forum was of a setup, then this forum determines the priorities of digital initiatives that were confirmed at the level of the countries and relevant EAEU bodies. The agenda at the level of heads of government includes consideration of the mechanisms for implementing these initiatives.

“We will discuss the problems of forming concrete decisions on the digital agenda which was approved by the leadership of our countries at last year’s forum held in Almaty. Approaches and priorities are developed that need to be implemented first of all, and thus we will discuss the mechanisms for implementing these priorities on the agenda,” said Dravitsa, stressing that it is planned to create intercountry consortia based on a single technological platform or a single ecosystem for project implementation which will take into account country specificity.

In addition, the expert noted that in the context of a single market for goods, it is necessary to create a single platform for small and medium businesses. In other words — the creation of a single catalog for enterprises with an indication of the goods they produce. The data will be available not only in domestic but also in foreign markets. Thus, an understanding of what products are produced in the countries of the Union will be reached.

“We have open economies, so it is necessary to harmonize their product descriptions. Therefore, we need to adjust all the schemes for interaction in this plan and increase the information resource on the basis of which certain services will be provided,” explained Dravitsa.

Speaking about the expected results of the implementation of a unified digital agenda of the EAEU, the expert noted that in this way small and medium-sized organizations without additional costs, without creating their own separate IT-environment will be able to fit into the international ecosystem and work on the principle of “business without borders.”

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