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OCT 23, 2020 | ASIA PACIFIC

Global Data Alliance Supports Asian Development Bank Proposals to Respond to COVID-19 Through Cross-Border Connectivity and Equitable Access to Technology

SINGAPORE – October 23, 2020 – The Global Data Alliance welcomes recommendations outlined at the Asian Development Bank (ADB) inaugural Southeast Asia Development Symposium on October 21, 2020 to invest in digital infrastructure, improve cross-border digital connectivity, and broaden equitable access to technology for populations affected by COVID-19.

In his keynote address at the ADB’s first Southeast Asia Development Symposium in the Philippines, President Masatsugu Asakawa urged Southeast Asian countries to take steps to close the digital divide and reduce income inequality resulting from the pandemic, by – among other things – enhancing online access to core services, including education, health, and financial services; by taking steps to improve cross-border digital connectivity and access to trade-related technologies; and adopting policies to incubate, develop, and congregate small and medium-sized enterprises with entrepreneurship and technology. The symposium also featured panel discussions on facilitating technology adoption as part of COVID-19 response and recovery; access to remote learning technologies; and digital technologies for healthcare.

The Global Data Alliance supports the ADB’s commitment to a prosperous, inclusive, resilient and sustainable Asia and the Pacific.

“The Global Data Alliance supports the Bank’s focus on leveraging digital technologies for COVID-19 response and recovery,” said Joseph Whitlock, Director, Policy at BSA | The Software Alliance. “Data transfers and digital connectivity have only grown in importance in the COVID-19 era as many aspects of public life have been forced into a remote environment. Bridging the digital divide through digital connectivity and data transfers isn’t just important for those who need access to remote health, work and learning technologies solutions for their daily activities. It’s also important within emerging economies for companies, including micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), that are searching for new ways to reach customers at home and abroad amidst the disruptions of COVID-19.”

Economic opportunity and digital inclusiveness can be extended by building connectivity to the Internet, ICT equipment, and computer literacy; growing cross-border access to technology, information, and data; and safeguarding the ability to transfer data seamlessly and responsibly across borders. This includes cross-border access to digital tools that facilitate access to healthcare, remote work, and remote learning opportunities – technologies that offer advantages from the perspective of cybersecurity, cost, timeliness, and individual access. It also includes MSMEs and other companies active in emerging economies and in sectors ranging from farming, fisheries, and mining; to tourism, hospitality, and other services sectors; to textiles and types of production and manufacturing.

About the Global Data Alliance

The Global Data Alliance (globaldataalliance.org) is a cross-industry coalition of companies that are committed to high standards of data responsibility and that rely on the ability to transfer data around the world to innovate and create jobs. The Alliance supports policies that help instill trust in the digital economy while safeguarding the ability to transfer data across borders and refraining from imposing data localization requirements that restrict trade.

Alliance members include BSA members and American Express, Amgen, AT&T, Citi, ITB360, LEGO, Mastercard, Medtronic, Panasonic, Pfizer, Roche, United Airlines, Verizon, VISA, and WD-40 Company. These companies are headquartered across the globe and are active in the advanced manufacturing, aerospace, automotive, consumer goods, electronics, energy, financial services, health, supply chain, and telecommunications sectors, among others. BSA | The Software Alliance administers the Global Data Alliance.

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