HONG KONG – Digital technology is expected to take on a new significance in developing countries, while China could play a leading coordinating role in this area of cooperation, according to policymakers and academics from different fields.
South-South Cooperation doesn’t need to focus on traditional industrial cooperation only. We can build digital technology transfer center to realize cross-border transfer and invest human resources and capital into healthcare and innovative education.
Zhang Laiwu, Former Vice-Minister of Science and Technology, China
They said at the South-South Financial Forum in Hong Kong on Monday that South-South Cooperation – the collaboration among developing countries in various sectors – could learn from the digital experiences of emerging markets.
Bei Duoguang, president of the Chinese Academy of Financial Inclusion, said China has the strengths in developing the digital economy with multiple existing new-economy companies. It would be worthy if the government could offer some support for these companies to tap into potential markets of developing countries.
Hong Kong, as a mature market embracing innovation and new economy, could provide some experience.
Ba Shusong, chief economist at Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing, said the capital market should play its vital role and find the financing feature of the new economy to support it during the transfer of the new and old economic growth engines.
He predicted that investment in research and development could increase after the trade row between China and the United States is resolved. It’s certain that the new economy will gradually dominate economic growth.
Zhang Laiwu, former vice-minister of science and technology, said innovation is the biggest difference between the digital age and the industrial age. Leveraging the Belt and Road Initiative, he suggested that digital infrastructure construction be promoted in developing countries.
“South-South Cooperation doesn’t need to focus on traditional industrial cooperation only. We can build digital technology transfer center to realize cross-border transfer and invest human resources and capital into healthcare and innovative education,” he said.
Automation could be an important source of labor productivity in emerging economies, said Jeongmin Seong, senior fellow at the McKinsey Global Institute.
He believed that about 20 percent of current work activities could be displaced cost-effectively by 2030 in China due to automation, but manufacturing will remain the main driver of economy in future.
Innovation is also taking place in the insurance sector, with a growing number of internet insurance companies emerging in the market.
Zhou Yanli, former vice-chairman of the China Insurance Regulatory Commission, proposed enlarging South-South Cooperation to cover insurance and speed up the construction of insurance infrastructure, such as insurance information sharing platform.
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