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GES Taipei Workshop 2017 — Addressing Challenges and Seizing Opportunities in the Digital Economy

GES Taipei Workshop

General Instruction

The GES Taipei Workshop 2017 with “Addressing Challenges and Seizing Opportunities in the Digital Economy” as its overarching theme took place at the Sherwood Taipei on April 12, 2017. It was hosted by Chung-Hua Institute for Economic Research (CIER) in cooperation with the Kiel Institute for the World Economy.

New advances in digital technologies and their diverse, potential implementation and application possibilities are expected to open new opportunities for different aspects of societal and economic development in many countries in the world in the long run. At the same time, the widespread implementation and intensive application of new digital technologies in various aspects of a society and an economy, e.g. for transactions, information exchanges, and social and business interactions etc., are also expected to lead to new challenges that require adequate policy engagement – both nationally and internationally.

The GES Taipei Workshop 2017 brought together experts from academia, business, politics and the civil society to firstly identify these new challenges that we are facing or are going to face in the digital era. With challenges identified, potential solutions were proposed and discussed among experts and participants of the Workshop.

Focusing on this mission, the Workshop began with an Opening Address “The Digital Economy: Our Challenges” by Prof. Dennis J. Snower followed by two expert speeches on issues like inclusion and global governance in the digital age. In the afternoon two panel discussions with well-known speakers explored solution proposals for two specific areas of challenges in the digital age, namely labour market challenges as well as challenges facing entrepreneurship ecosystems.


Dr. Yu-Shan Lo
Chung-Hua Institute for Economic Research

Dr. Wan-Hsin Liu
Kiel Institute for the World Economy


Main Theme:
Addressing Challenges and Seizing Opportunities in the Digital Economy

Wednesday, April 12th, 2017

Venue of the Workshop:
Sherwood Taipei

Local Host:
Chung-Hua Institute for Economic Research

Approximately 100 international and local leading stakeholders from academia, business, politics and the civil society (by invitation)

Program Overview

Opening Address: The Digital Economy: Our Challenges

Dennis J. Snower, President, Kiel Institute for the World Economy/President, Global Economic Symposium, Germany



Digital Transformation: Two Key Aspects

Leave No One Behind but How?
Malavika Jayaram, Executive Director, Digital Asia Hub, Hong Kong

Better Global Governance in the Era of Digital Transformation
Fen Osler Hampson, Distinguished Fellow and Director of CIGI's Global Security & Politics program, Center for International Governance Innovation, Canada






    Dealing with Labour Market Challenges in the Digital Economy

    Dealing with Labour Market Challenges in the Digital EconomyTechnological advances always affect labour markets to some extent. Adopting digital technologies and automation techniques can not only increase labour productivity, but also enable the development of new business models and create new markets. All these may increase the final demand and create new job opportunities. However, new technological advances related to, for example, artificial intelligence, machine learning and big data are changing the boundary between humans and machines with regard to their working content and capability. The labour market impact of such new technologies is expected to be much stronger than before; many jobs might be gradually replaced by machines.

    Moreover, in the digital economy the internet and internet platforms have been more and more frequently used that is expected to lower the costs of market matching and help suppliers of products and services to reach and serve their customers more easily. This facilitates the segmentation of jobs into smaller “on-demand” tasks; non-standard work, multi-job employees and self-employees may gradually become a trend. Remote and cross-border work will also become more common. These trends are transforming the traditional employer-employee relationship. Firms may face increasingly severe competition for workers. It may also become more difficult for firms to provide adequate long-term job training to their employees who now may work from different places in the world, are less willing to work for one firm for a longer period and have to carry out multiple tasks with work content changing rapidly. This makes it difficult for firms to accumulate human capital. At the same time workers may face challenges such as increasing labour market instability, job uncertainty and weaker social protection.

    What kinds of jobs and occupations would be particularly affected by the new technological advances in the digital economy? How to effectively improve the digital skills of the labour-force to mitigate the potentially negative shock of digital technologies on labour markets? How to reduce skill gap and implement supportive policies to deal with potentially increasing inequality between the rich and the poor in the digital economy? How to define the role of internet platforms and clarify the rights and responsibilities of the platforms, employees and employers? How to adjust relevant regulations such as labour law and cross-border work regulations? How can the existing social insurance and safety net be strengthened accordingly?


    Levent Neyse, Researcher, Kiel Institute for the World Economy/Research Coordinator, Global Economic Symposium, Germany


    Swee Cheang Lim, Vice Dean, School of Continuing and Lifelong Education, National University of Singapore
    Victor Kuan,
    Chairman and Director of Citibank Taiwan Ltd., Taiwan
    Dalia Marin
    , Chair of International Economics, LMU Munich,  Germany
    Thomas Losse-Müller, Head of the State Chancellery of Schleswig-Holstein, Germany



    Shaping Digital Entrepreneurship Ecosystem

    Shaping Digital Entrepreneurship EcosystemInnovation and entrepreneurship have been considered as main forces that drive industrial upgrading and create new jobs. They are also considered to be the key to deal with current and emerging social and industrial challenges. Therefore, many countries have initiated policies to promote innovation and entrepreneurship. Against the background with strongly advancing digital technologies, how to shape digital entrepreneurship ecosystem has become one major issue for designing and implementing current and future innovation and entrepreneurship policies.

    The development of digital technologies such as information digitalisation and social network has enabled firms, including startups, to share information with and provide technology and services to their upstream firms and downstream customers more directly. They can also obtain feedback from their partners and from markets in a more efficient and direct way. All these are expected to improve the efficiency of resource allocation. Various internet platforms can be more easily used by firms to obtain useful information and acquire tools and services they need as well. Product and the services can be virtualised or digitalised, thus creating new business models.  Innovative services that are made possible by digital technologies further help startups and micro-firms gain access to resources they need more easily. However, behind all these potential benefits of digital technologies there are several challenges that still need to be coped with.

    How basic infrastructure can be improved to support the development of an efficient digital entrepreneurship environment? How to improve the efficiency of financial markets to promote the entrepreneurship in the digital age? Against the background of increasing competition for professional and multidisciplinary talents with adequate digital skills, how to continuously attract professionals and construct a failure-friendly environment? How to adjust and improve the existing regulations to facilitate innovative entrepreneurship? How to better link innovation and entrepreneurship systems internationally to support cross-border talents interaction and information exchanges? How to improve the efficiency of global governance in the digital economy through international cooperation on international regulatory harmonisation?


    Greg Unsworth, Risk Assurance and Digital Business Leader, PWC Singapore, Singapore


    Sunmoo Kang, Professor, Department of Computer Engineering, Kyung Hee University, South Korea
    Paul Twomey
    , Co-founder of STASH, USA
    David Weng, CIO, Asia Silicon Valley Development Agency, Taiwan
    Pindar Wong, Chairman of VeriFi (Hong Kong) Ltd./ Chair of, Hong Kong



    Dennis Snower