UNCTAD releases its Digital Economy Report 2019

UNCTAD launched the Digital Economy Report 2019 – Value creation and capture: implications for developing countries. The report outlines the potential gains of the digital economy, but also warns against concentration and rising inequality. According to the study, the United States and China are capturing most of the wealth generated by the digital economy, while developing regions – Africa and Latin America in particular – are lagging further behind. The report forecasts a dramatic surge in data traffic and the rising importance of the data economy in the next years, propelled by new technologies such as the internet of things, 3D printing and artificial intelligence. It warns against the dominance of ‘super platforms’ comprising the seven global brands – Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, Google, Facebook, Tencent and Alibaba – and highlights the important role of governments and policy makers in levelling the playing field and seeking a more equitable distribution of digital dividends.