Digital Economy

The challenge of digitizing the Spanish economy (I Congress of the ADEI Observatory)

The challenge of digitizing the Spanish economy (I Congress of the ADEI Observatory)

Full version of the article published today in the newspaper Expansión on “The digitization of the economy: the great Spanish and European challenge“.

Internet and the digital economy keys for growth and competitiveness

The Internet has become in recent years the key sector for all the advanced economies of the world. It is the current driving force behind economic activity, which is driving the development of new business models and a differentiated economic and business fabric in many countries.

Its importance for economic growth and its contribution to GDP grows exponentially. The Internet contributes decisively to strengthen competitive innovation and globalization of societies, to eliminate physical barriers in the relationship between people and companies in the international market and generates new opportunities that require new skills and competencies.

The digitization of the economy in Spain

The digitization of the economy is a process that is accelerating throughout the world, and this change is particularly rapid in many of the countries around us. It is also underway in Spain, although we have a long way to go. The digital economy represents only 2.5% of our country's GDP, while the European average is 3.8%.

Developing the digital economy in Spain is fundamental and urgent. It is as much as betting on competitiveness, the modernization of public administrations, assimilating the most disruptive innovations as solid advantages, entrepreneurship in future sectors, leadership in electronic commerce, smart cities or advanced technologies in education, among other things. In short, betting on the future.

Regulation by default or excess

Regulation and normative development in general sins by excess or by defect throughout Europe. Faced with Asia or the United States, we Europeans have not yet been able to lay the foundations for the development of the digitization of the Economy. The result is that to defend hypothetical rights of privacy or intellectual property, what we are doing is put obstacles and obstacles to our startups and digital companies.

It is really surprising that there is no European benchmark company among the world's major digital corporations. Brussels needs to accelerate regulatory changes, approaches and policies to drive a very powerful digital economy in Europe in line with developments in North America and Asia.

Many of the debates that are taking place today in the Old Continent will condition the future technological development of its States and their ability to compete with other world powers. Define and realize a powerful Digital Single Market, achieve a Single Telecommunications Market, reach an agreement for the TTIP, are some of the challenges of transcendental relevance for our future that Europe has raised. And above all, lay the foundations for relevant leadership in the digital economy worldwide in areas such as the attraction and retention of talent, investments and technology companies.

Digitization programs and favor innovation

New technologies demand from companies and especially SMEs, disruptions and constant changes in their business models. In many cases they are new opportunities offered by the Internet and the digital ecosystem and which they must take advantage of to strengthen their growth. To drive this forward, we must strengthen digitization programs and reduce barriers to innovation. We also have to intelligently take advantage of factors such as the advantage offered us by the great penetration in Spain of internet access through smartphones, one of the largest in Europe, or the Spanish language entity and its international markets.

Another of the great pending challenges is the reduction of the digital divide and very substantial improvements in all education systems. If we don't do something to remedy it, more than 900,000 jobs will be left unfilled by 2020 as a consequence of the absence of trained people that the digital market demands. Especially, a great digital literacy effort must be made in low-skilled workers and long-term unemployed. And we have to make the use of digital technologies in the educational system habitual, daily and universal to ensure equal access to training and employment in the new generations. This will allow them to live in a world of opportunities and not one of frustrations, to get out of precariousness and promote the competitiveness and stability of each job.

I International Congress that the Observatory for the Analysis and Economic Development of the Internet (ADEI)

Many of these issues will be the subject of analysis and debate in the I International Congress that the Observatory for the Analysis and Economic Development of the Internet (ADEI) will be held on October 23 in Madrid, in which many of the leading national and international experts in this area will participate. This Observatory, the result of collaboration with Google, Analistas Financieros Internacionales (Afi) and the Institute of International Economics of the University of Alicante, was created precisely with the aim of promoting the use of digital technologies for greater competitiveness of the Spanish economy. a task in which we all have to get involved.

Andres Pedreño
Director of the ADEI Observatory

Source: Expansion

See also: Digital economy: 13 things economists should pay much more attention to.

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