Monday, July 30, 2018

Policy reforms in PNG needed for digital economy engagement

POLICY reforms are needed for Papua New Guinea to realise its goal of having more of its citizens in the digital economy, says Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation economic committee chair Robert Logie.
He said it was a first for an Apec host nation to “put the digital economy front and centre as part of their overarching theme for the year”.
“Obviously, this is the priority for the government of PNG,” Logie said.
“They want to have their people take advantage of the opportunities offered by the digital economy as soon as possible.
“For that, you need certain policy reforms. You need policies that encourage the rapid roll-out of high-speed internet, for example.”
Logie noted how PNG had also emphasised the importance of sustainable growth and the need for economic inclusion for Apec meets so economic benefits were shared.
“During Apec’s structural reform week in Port Moresby next month, we will discuss concrete ways that structural reforms can support increased trade and investment, including digital trade, and make sure that everybody benefits from the digital economy,” he said.
“Structural reforms often take a few years to bear fruit.
“By making better rules, you give businesses and other actors an incentive to change their behaviour – for example, to innovate more, to become more competitive, more export-oriented.
“But it takes time for that to happen. Businesses need to have confidence in these new rules.”
The Apec economic committee is also looking at ways economies can use digital platforms to get public input on policy changes.
“Public sector governance is one area we are looking into, specifically how to harness digital tools to make public consultations less expensive and more effective,” Logie said.
“This can increase buy-in for structural reforms and make the rule-making process more inclusive.”
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