UNCTAD releases the Digital Economy Report

October, 1, 2019

Digital economy is evolving at a very rapid speed and it is driven by the ability to collect, use and analyse huge amounts of digital data. The Global Internet Protocol (IP) traffic grew from about 100 gigabyte (GB) per day in 1992 to more than 45,000 GB per second in 2017 and it is expected to reach 150,700 GB per second in 2020. Beside data there is another key driver of the digital economy which is the platformization: several digital platforms emerged in the past decade and their power is reflected in the fact that seven of the world’s top eight companies by market capitalization use platform-base business models.

In the economic geography of the digital divide we can observe that two countries are leading this revolution: the US and China that together account for 75% of all patents related to block chain technologies, 50% of global spending on IoT and more than 75% of the world market for public cloud computing. Within this frame Europe’s share is only 4% while Africa and Latin America together account for only 1%.

It is undeniable that digital economy is growing, but measuring its related value creation and caption can be difficult as there is not a widely accepted definition of digital economy and also because there is a lack of reliable statistics on it especially in developing countries. Nevertheless it is estimated that the size of the digital economy range from 4.5 to 15.5 of the world GDP.

These are only some of the findings of the Digital Economy Report recently released by UNCTAD – the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (INSME Member) that also highlights how the rapid expansion of the digital economy is bringing unique economic opportunities as well as challenges which have to be managed by implementing new policies at the local, national and international level particularly focused on data management and security.

Read the whole report available here to discover more data and findings.

Source: UNCTAD - United Nations Conference on Trade and Development

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