Statement refers to need for joining forces in unlocking full potential of digitalization across all sectors

Digital transformation is a driver of global, inclusive and sustainable growth and can contribute to achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals, Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) member states have said.

A statement of the Council of SCO Heads of State on Cooperation in Digital Transformation issued after the virtual summit chaired by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday (July 4, 2023) said, "The effective and secure use of digital technologies can become a force multiplier in the decades-long global struggle against constant challenges to the global community".

According to the statement, SCO Member States need to join forces in unlocking the full potential of digitalization across all sectors of the economy, including the digitalization of the real economy."An approach to development based on the analysis of digital data has the transformative potential to address a wide range of issues in all areas, including the economics, health and education," the statement noted, referring to the significant amount of data created by the growing number of internet users and digital tools.

Pointing out that the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the development of digital ecosystems and the digital transformation of economies, the SCO member states said that digital technologies are defining new ways of working and thinking, opening up new possibilities and growth avenues.

The significance of developing, improving and ensuring the security and reliability of digital infrastructure and digital services, improving their quality with feedback from citizens and businesses and promoting digital literacy has come into focus.

"The potential of digital technology to transform social, cultural and economic life has not been fully realized. Member States will continue efforts to ensure that the benefits of digital transformation are accessible and affordable for the full realization of human potential and will focus on people-centric development," the statement added.

In their statement, the Council of SCO Heads of State advocated continued work on access to affordable digital infrastructure and in support of the digital economy, seeking digital connectivity and services to enhance digital opportunities and digital interoperability.

They also expressed strong support for the integration of digital solutions in priority sectors, such as the financial sector including in implementing digital payments and the sharing of best practices among SCO Member States. "We will strive to widely disseminate digital services in order to make them accessible to the citizens of SCO Member States, taking information security into account," the statement said.