Whether ‘data localisation’ and ‘National champion’ approach would lead to an inclusive digital economy?
Propagation of the digital economy is believed to be accelerating economic inequality within and across countries. Those who control the digital ecosystem corner most gains – the US and China control 90 percent of the market capitalisation value of the world’s largest digital platforms. One of the emerging responses to this situation is the creation of “national champions” by adhering to the “data localisation” policy. This can lead to balkanisation of the internet due to restrictions in the cross-border data flow.
Therefore, we have a situation where, on the one hand, the liberal regulatory approach seems to be failing in yielding just economic outcomes. On the other hand, the protectionist approach could damage cross-border e-trade, innovation, and competitiveness.
In this background, the panelists will discuss: whether it is necessary to create globally competitive national champions to expand the scope for value creation and capture in the digital economy? If yes, is it essential to pursue a “data localisation” policy to create such champions? How would such an approach impact cross-border e-commerce ecosystem? How will it affect industrial development, particularly SMEs? What will be the impact on consumers and domestic market competition? And above all, whether data localisation and national champion lead to an inclusive digital economy?