Mr. KONO Taro, Minister for Digital Transformation attended the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2023 (Davos)
Published on January 24, 2023
Minister Kono attended the World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting 2023 (Davos) held in the Swiss Confederation from January 16 to January 18. He participated in four sessions and held bilateral meetings with stakeholders.
In preparation of G7 Hiroshima Summit in 2023, we are facilitating more on the operationalization of the Data Free Flow with Trust (DFFT), which was proposed by then Prime Minister Abe in 2019. As part of this initiative, Minister Kono proposed to establish an international framework with a permanent secretariat, where governments and the private sectors can work together to enhance interoperability and transparency. This proposal was highly evaluated by the stakeholders.
Taking this opportunity, Minister Kono held the bilateral meeting with H.E. Mr. MyKhailo FEDOROV, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Digital Transformation of Ukraine, and gained understanding of facilitating the DFFT towards G7.
1 World Economic Forum Annual Meeting (Davos)
Minister Kono attended the following 4 sessions in Davos.
(1) Session on GovTech Transformation transaction (Invitation-only)
Because the concept of GovTech is new, it is necessary to overcome complicated issues such as COVID-19, energy efficiency, geopolitics, emerging technologies, crisis management, and the state of entrepreneurship towards business facilitation. To address these issues, the participants discussed various aspects, including security, knowledge sharing, and intellectual property management.
Minister Kono stressed the background behind the establishment of the Digital Agency, the activities of the Special Commission on Digital Administrative Reform, and the necessity of the international framework with a permanent secretariat to operationalize the DFFT in the G7
(2) Session on the divided data policies (Invitation-only)
A lunch session was held with the participation of the government, industry, and citizen group. The issues were raised by several participants at the beginning of the session, and Minister Kono stated that, as the country that proposed the DFFT in 2019, we would realize the operationalization of the DFFT through the establishment of an international framework and count not only the participation of the government but also of private sectors. Subsequently, enthusiastic discussions were held at each table.
Various discussions took place such as how to deal with emerging technologies and developing countries, the expectations for civil society, the necessity of sharing the best practices. In the end, Minister Kono stated that he expected to receive positive input on the new framework and received endorsement from the participants.
(3) Opening Session on promoting Data Linkage
Data Collaboration: Lessons from the Field
An open session on handling data to facilitate data sharing was held in the form of a panel discussion with the participation of Minister Kono, government officials of India, private sectors, and NGOs.
In addition to introducing the background behind the establishment of the Digital Agency in Japan and the efforts that have been made since its establishment, Minister Kono stated that it is necessary to enhance interoperability and transparency, given that to create one data protection rules for the world is not realistically easy. Moreover, he mentioned that it is important not only to strengthening efforts as the like-minded countries, but also to give consideration to the Global South.
(4) Session on Japan’s Strategy (Invitation-only)
Minister Kono attended the session on Japan’s national strategy with Mr. Nishimura, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, and Mr. Goto, Minister of State for Economic and Fiscal Policy. Each minister presented their vision and initiatives on the policies in charge and Minister Kono introduced the background behind the establishment of the Digital Agency, as well as the initiatives of COVID-19, the activities of Digital Extraordinary Administrative Advisory Committee, spread of My number card, local government response (including the development of the Government Cloud), and international communication of the DFFT towards the G7 in Japan. At the end of the session, he answered the questions from the audience.
2 Bilateral Meeting
During the Davos meeting, Minister Kono held the bilateral meetings with participating ministers including H.E. Ms. Josephine TEO, Minister for Communications and Information, Ministry of Communications and Information, Singapore and H.E. Mr. Ville SKINNARI, Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Finland, H.E. Mr. Mykhailo FEDOROV, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Digital Transformation, Ukraine, H.E. Ms. Najla Boden ROMDAN, Prime Minister of Tunisia, and H.E. Dr. Adel AL-JUBEIR, State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Saudi Arabia.
(1) Meeting with H.E. Ms. Josephine TEO, Minister for Communications and Information, Singapore
Minister Kono discussed with H.E. Ms. Josephine TEO, Minister for Communications and Information, Minister of Singapore, which is making progress in digitalization, about the future of bilateral cooperation based on the concluded MoC, as well as international data strategies for the G7 and G20.
(2) Meeting with H.E. Mr. Ville SKINNARI, Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade, Finland
Minister Kono confirmed with H.E. Mr. Ville SKINNARI, Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade, Finland, the importance of the DFFT as an international common issue and promised to continue discussions and exchange opinions on promoting bilateral collaboration through the industries and others.
(3) Meeting with H.E. Mr. Mykhailo Fedorov, Vice Prime Minister, Minister of Digital Transformation, Ukraine
Minister Kono held a meeting in the face with H.E. Mr. Mykhailo FEDOROV, Vice Prime Minister, Minister of Digital Transformation, Ukraine, which is continuing a war with Russia, and discussed the digital utilization of the administration and the enhancement of bilateral cooperation and partnership.
(4) Meeting with H.E. Ms. Najla Boden Romdan, Prime Minister of Tunisia
During the meeting, H.E. Ms. Najla Boden ROMDAN, Prime Minister of Tunisia, and Minister Kono mutually confirmed the importance of Tunisia’s role in Africa and exchanged opinions on the economic situation surrounding COVID-19, and the support to the country.
(5) Meeting with H.E. Dr. Adel Al-JUBEIR, State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Saudi Arabia
During the meeting, H.E. Dr. Adel AL-JUBEIR, State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Saudi Arabia and Minister Kono mutually confirmed the importance of the DFFT in the international response and received an introduction on the initiatives of the advanced citizen group activities and the digitalization in Saudi Arabia including NEOM. They also exchanged the views on the efforts to enhance the future bilateral relationship.