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Month: October 2020

30 Oct 2020
Dr._Manahel_Thabet

The Governance of 21st Century Transformations

The Corona pandemic was the yeast acting on the dough of human transformation towards technology, and instead of talking about the transformation in the last decades of the twenty-first century, the talk, in the same context, deals with the next few decades of this century as indulging in the experience of transformation altogether, which is imminent, and just around the corner from the inclusiveness of all walks of life, and its trends.

Everything we find now will be reformulated, starting with the forms of social, economic, educational, cultural and media dealings, within all areas of human life and trends; and if the current situation has forced people to withdraw from the paths of social life, this withdrawal forces them to start to be more open, through other tools, the tools of technology.

If traditional markets have geographical boundaries that are not easily exceeded by man, the transformation caused by the pandemic, first now and without time, has forced an indulgence in a new experience of its markets, with a geographical dimension, i.e., success in this experiment now represents a global success in one way or another; competition has gone beyond the boundaries of the place we have traditionally been used to, and has become limitless; if not, the fundamental difference that characterizes the traditional domestic level from the new alternative, which is characterized by the structure of the framework, lies in the existence of regulations that are universal, in one form or another. Everyone is included in the opportunities they have under these regulations; they have rights guaranteed to them, and they have duties to abide by them. If the new transformations had imposed regulations on people that committed them to duties, and they had no guaranteed rights of any kind, all of this would not have happened without the presence of governance, which frames the details of this experience, and indulges in it.

The new transformations require alternative resources for States. If, by experience, people are going to have to do business in all their forms remotely, States should look at the mechanism of exempting businesses from their licence to do business, if they are abandoned from their traditional business premises, and, instead of continuing to drain public and private sector infrastructure, for example, the business accelerator and incubator sector can be instigated, and their roles activated by the organizing and supervising of governments, as another example, to contain small and medium-sized enterprises, such as business centres and business-to-business centres, like business centres in free zones, with a work permit that can be granted from home.

The countries of Europe have taken notice of this and activated it to be with the people in the face of the pandemic, and its aftermath, rather than with the pandemic and against the people. The same applies to labour taxes within each company – income taxes and so on. Governments must review them in accordance with the transition situation, because without this new framework, and the rewriting of the system of laws for new transformations, the economy will perish, and it will lose all its sectors, without exception.

The image that describes the scene of the new transformations is one of a Surrealist painting in which we may feel amazing creativity, but no one can understand it, or claim it, and there is no choice but to frame this painting to obtain meaning, that is, in the realistic sense, that we symbolize it, its governance and the development of appropriate laws, guaranteeing all rights, and at the same time, obliging everyone to do their duties, yet without the feeling that everyone now feels “lost”.

We may think there is chaos, yes, but it is a creative chaos, which forces us to radically change our lifestyles and our ways of living, whether economic or social, and we could be very satisfied with it if it were governed, because governance means determining a destiny, a destiny of life, not a fate of death, a success, not a fate of failure and loss.

The leaders of the economic and social engines, the pillars of all societies in the future, who can be bet upon from this moment on, are undoubtedly the “alpha generation”. This generation does not believe in borders, whether cognitive, socio-cultural, or economic.

If framing is a principle of governance, the question now is: how will we frame the next governance? And to talk the rest.

Author : Manahel Thabet
Published October 30, 2020
Al Bayan Newspaper

25 Oct 2020
The next Apple or Amazon will be a company built on blockchain - and it'll be based in Asia, not the US, a cryptocurrency chief says

JP Morgan Veteran Daniel Masters Explains How Blockchain Will End Commercial Banks

  • A cryptocurrency chief predicted that the next biggest company in the world will be one built on blockchain – and it will be based in Asia, not the US.
  • Crypto regulations are a lot clearer in Asia, whereas uncertainty in the United States does not help consumer confidence and discredits the overall industry, Ben Weiss, chief operating officer at CoinFlip, said.
  • “I haven’t heard any specific plans from Biden, or anyone, on Bitcoin regulation, but there needs to be sensible regulation,” Weiss said. “There needs to be regulatory clarity, because the US is losing the blockchain battle right now to a lot of different countries.”
  • He believes any presidential candidate who is pro-crypto will win the youth vote for the next 15 to 20 years. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The next Apple or Amazon will be a blockchain company based in Asia, not the US, according to Ben Weiss, chief operating officer at CoinFlip, the world’s biggest Bitcoin ATM operator. 

That’s because the US still doesn’t have the regulatory clarity required for the crypto industry to grow and innovate, Weiss told Business Insider in an interview on Tuesday.

Compared to Asia, where regulations are a lot clearer, the US does not have well-defined rules that could boost confidence in digital currencies and help legitimize the crypto industry. Weiss specifically touted Singapore as the potential home to the next biggest blockchain company in the world.

After having jumped about 46% this year, Bitcoin was trading at $12,338 on Wednesday. Weiss expects the price to hit $13,500 in the near-term. The US government has basically ignored Bitcoin over the last few years, and they’re going to have to address it at some point, he said.

 

The crypto chief said regulations in the US are required not just to protect consumers, but to spur innovation as several institutional and retail investors realize the risk of not having some amount of bitcoin in their balance sheets.

But despite growing interest in the digital currency space, there is still a lot of uncertainty around the crypto industry, as US regulators and trading authorities have not issued any updated policies or guidelines ahead of the November presidential election. 

Weiss believes buying Bitcoin is one of the most political purchases an investor can make, as it’s the most democratizing and inclusive financial revolution.

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, who is currently ahead of President Donald Trump in the polls, has no particular stance on Bitcoin or cryptocurrencies, although he has supported financial innovation.

 

“I haven’t heard any specific plans from Biden, or anyone, on Bitcoin regulation but there needs to be sensible regulation,” Weiss said. “There needs to be regulatory clarity, because the US is losing the blockchain battle right now to a lot of different countries.”

Weiss believes any presidential candidate who is pro-crypto, whether in this election cycle or the next, will win the youth vote for the next 15 to 20 years. “I’m surprised no major presidential candidate has gotten fully behind Bitcoin yet,” he added.

Source: https://markets.businessinsider.com/currencies/news/next-big-tech-giant-blockchain-based-crypto-expert-2020-10-1029705362#

23 Oct 2020
Dr._Manahel_Thabet

“Generation Alpha” Jobs

It appears, from many data sources, whose prosperity coincided with the Corona pandemic, namely, data technology and the wave of automation that permeated everything and spread to most professions and jobs, that the Corona pandemic has made itself a compulsory presence.

That which was free of it, or that which would have been slowly going on a long, cumbersome, and difficult timeline to achieve the overall presence that we are now seeing in all sectors and various fields, relates that Corona has become an objective equivalent to overall automation; or, that their relationship is complementary, and clearly it is a relationship that is deep and meaningful.

Hence, it is quite appropriate to talk at this time about the work functions of the near future, though not as a prediction, but rather, from what is confirmed by the data that has emerged successively from the beginning of technology, to refer to its current prosperity due to the Corona pandemic, which has made the vision around it, and its needs, supremely clear.

Perhaps what the centers and institutions in developed cities offer to look ahead to regarding this issue is useful, especially when we go to talk about the necessary needs of the near future of skills, and the needs of the world of professions and jobs, with the possibility of adding to them (through the current data) and more importantly, ask: What can we say on this occasion?

In a recent landmark document, the Center for The Future in Abu Dhabi City ranked 20 professions that will have the largest share of proliferation and will have a significant demand in 20 years from now. They are effective for generation ALPHA, which was born after 2010, and can be listed as stated in the document issued by the Center:

The work of robotic programmers, future oil data specialists and analysts, personal health experts, drone command support crews, a writer or accountant enhanced by artificial intelligence, driverless vehicle support teams, blockchain designers and engineers, 3D printer designers and engineers, digital currency bankers, encrypted, sensor system design engineers and supervisors, space traffic analysts and monitors, asteroid and celestial mining specialists, fusion power reactor engineers, genetic modification technology and biological piracy, engineers, designers and operators of the TEOP network, computer programmers and analysts of Quantum systems. Mixed real-world building technicians, researchers and producers of laboratory-grown meat, IoT-based home automation specialists, and finally the job of designers, engineers, trainers, and educators for AI-based teaching systems (without the need for someone to teach).

It can be said that the demand for some of these jobs has already begun, and we find that the job of support crew for flying drones, the job of a writer or accountant enhanced by artificial intelligence, and the job of designers and engineers of blockchain, has a tangible presence in most first world countries, and over the next two decades, the prosperity and expansion of its tools will remain and make the demand for its specialists very wide.

We are not here to list what has been said about the most widespread and demanding jobs over the next two decades, because we should be sure that the time is good for all segments in different sectors, whether they are from the Alpha Generation, or even the present generation.

They can rehabilitate themselves with the skills and requirements that this near future needs, an irreplaceable opportunity, and if the days pass quickly, they should pass as we fight to realize our dreams and work for the growth and prosperity of our homelands and societies.

Knowledge, and the right to acquire it, have been and will continue to be, a purely human affair, which anyone in this world can and will acquire without any right to place obstacles in front of it, or prevent it from gaining momentum. And to talk the rest.

Author : Manahel Thabet
Published October 23, 2020
Al Bayan Newspaper

22 Oct 2020
Disruption Vs. Innovation

Disruption Vs. Innovation

What do you think of when you hear the word disruption? Maybe a start-up with a lofty, if not somewhat unattainable, idea. Perhaps any number of Apple product launches. Or perhaps, in these times, your home internet going out right before a Zoom call.

In the start-up and tech world, the word disrupt is often presented to delineate an innovative idea. Disruption is not synonymous with innovation. Sure, Airbnb completely changed the hospitality industry in undeniably innovative ways, but it also caused negative effects on local neighborhoods and housing markets. Sometimes, even with the best intentions, disruption exits innovation terrority and enters dysfunction territory.

Inventive Innovation or Disruptive Innovation?

But, if you are in the throes of creating something new and innovative, you must decide: do you want to be an inventive innovator or a disruptive innovator?

Despite its ubiquity in its use for products, ideas, and processes that produce fundamental change, disruption in this context does have a full name: disruptive innovation. It was first described by Clayton Christensen in 1995 and thoroughly explained in his groundbreaking 1997 book, The Innovator’s Dilemma

What’s often overlooked is that innovation takes many forms, and it isn’t always disruptive. Just because you don’t break and remake markets doesn’t mean you’re not an innovator. That quest to completely break and rebuild often leads to failure. Oftentimes, innovation doesn’t look like disruption at all – it’s a silent hero giving us new and better ways to do things without us even realizing it. I think of my own community at SailPoint, and how our team has taken a leap into global, widespread remote work without hardly a moment of disruption in innovation, productivity or customer service.

Simply put: there are healthy and unhealthy ways to (try to) create change.

Tech at large has been under the microscope for its boundary-crossing innovations – from increasing privacy concerns to security risks. On the other hand, it has enabled us to operate more globally and efficiently.

What do you want to be known for?

So, as you shape the future of the technology or service you provide, think about the kind of innovation for which you want to be known. Are you aiming for iterative innovation or true disruption? In our case, we want to disrupt, but not leave a path of dysfuntion in our wake. It’s the old, “leave it better than you found it,” idea, which means finding better ways to deliver solutions to our customers, without, ideally, leaving a mess in our wake. After all, we strive to be the kind of parter whose customers constantly look to us to solve their problems before they know it’s even a problem for them.

So choose carefully what kind of innovator you want to be ahead of time, and hopefully, you can create real value for your community without leaving disfunction behind you.

Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesbooksauthors/2020/10/21/disruption-vs-innovation/#73dcf5242e6b

20 Oct 2020
Why disruption is now a springboard for innovation in manufacturing

Why disruption is now a springboard for innovation in manufacturing

Mark Hughes, Regional Vice President, UK & Ireland, Epicor looks at Why disruption is now a springboard for innovation in manufacturing.

The effects of COVID-19 have rippled across every industry, but its impact on manufacturers has brought positive change, as well as disruption. Despite the difficult choices manufacturers have faced over the course of the year, digitisation has accelerated – a process which has long been challenging in the industry.

The reasons behind this vary; those with ageing workforces have sometimes been sceptical about new technology, while others have been uncertain the investment would pay off. However, the onset of lockdown saw restrictions from mandatory remote working to limits on how many people can be in one area at a time. Manufacturers had to adapt to stay in business – and now they’re in the fortunate position of being able to pick and choose the best of those new processes and technologies. So, what should they be focusing on?

People power

Mark Huges, Regional Vice President, UK & Ireland
Mark Huges, Regional Vice President, UK & Ireland

As a result of lockdown, businesses and factory floors had to evolve at speed. To highlight just one example of adapting to this change of pace and reacting with an innovative solution, manufacturers implemented Internet of Things (IoT) sensors on machinery to monitor performance remotely. But can those sensors compete with the good old-fashioned hands of a seasoned engineer on a long-term basis?

Both offer convenience, but the cost of ongoing high-tech maintenance, training and equipment might present a barrier to continued use. Manufacturers need to strike the balance between traditional factory set-ups and the new now, incorporating the benefits of digital acceleration while retaining the perks of having human staff on the floor.

The human vs. machine debate also affects recruitment. It might be more difficult or more expensive to find staff who are well versed in any new implemented technologies. But with remote working enabled, manufacturers are free to choose from a much wider pool of talent – something that’s especially relevant to the industry given its often isolated site locations.

The proposition of a truly flexible role in a field that used to be the very opposite could be a draw. Combined with manufacturing’s relative stability compared to other industries and it’s not difficult to see why the sector is reputationally bouncing back to be considered a solid place to be employed and do business – which, in turn, causes a surge in fresh blood to drive digital change.

Mind over matter

It’s not just those employed in the industry who saw the benefits of recent digitisation. Many factories pivoted almost overnight to produce completely different in-demand products – including Mercedes F1BrewDog and Dyson. While few businesses would have considered swapping from making vacuum cleaners to hospital beds pre-COVID, these organisations have witnessed their own power to pivot – and, with any luck, this inspiration will fuel further change in the near future.

The real silver lining beyond merely accelerating digitisation was a shift in mindset. With the experience of 2020 behind them (and support from recently digitised platforms), manufacturers should all feel more confident in running with new ideas and innovations.

While budgetary and practicality constraints persist, they’re no match for manufacturers having the confidence to follow their ideas and the drive to see them through to completion. As we’ve seen, small developments can have a butterfly effect. Each step towards digitisation attracts more forward-thinking people to continue the trend, as well as inspiring existing team members to think and actively reach outside the box. Change is never easy but, with the right tools in place and attitude in mind, anything is possible.

For almost 50 years, Epicor Software Corporation has specialised in helping customers grow their businesses, expand their capabilities, increase their productivity, and improve efficiencies. A leader in Enterprise Resource Planning for medium-sized businesses, Epicor serves as a trusted partner for thousands of companies worldwide across key industries such as manufacturing, distribution, and retail. 

Source: https://www.themanufacturer.com/articles/disruption-now-springboard-innovation-manufacturing/

16 Oct 2020
Dr._Manahel_Thabet

Corona Economy!

When there was a global cultural hierarchy, Europeans saw their culture as the highest and finest of all cultures, and sooner or later all peoples had to raise their culture to the level of European culture, and immigrants to Europe always had to give up their identity and differences, integrate as the population wanted, and be like them.

This is called ingestion or “assimilation”, and anthropologist Strauss calls it “to eat differences” and this alternative was a modern version of the “cannibal strategy” which preceded corona.

Today, when the world faces the health pandemic, it must find a solution to economic problems, especially after the loss of business, professions and jobs, and the adoption of new economic mechanisms is the only solution to break this critical impasse, and technology tools must be used to practice this new economy as the only option.

Hence, this new economy has become a single world culture that has imposed itself on the whole world and everyone must abandon their differences and forget its specificity for the exercise of this economy and survive. This economy was the common denominator of the world and resembled in detail the details of the “cannibal strategy” and the culture of ingestion or assimilation and the casting of the mould.

In the context of the Corona pandemic, no one can adopt an economic culture that has a specific and different profile of the world, independent of technology tools, and which is far from that being used, yet everyone is forced into this new economic practice.

The mechanisms of this economy have been dedicated to individualism and pure self in practice, and it is no longer important for the individual who practises this economy to be an economy qualification holder, nor to have great experience to succeed; and it does not matter how much there is an institutional entity with a name or brand, which has employees and a business license to achieve popularity, proliferation and profits, while there is only a computer connected to the Internet, and sitting in front of the screen is someone who wants to work.

The major economic and social problems of the world are also being addressed.

The Corona pandemic will transform it from year to year and will reposition in individual entities, re-launching through technology tools from private to public.

According to the current data of the Corona era, future economic leaders are coming from behind computer screens, i.e., the economy will take the profile of individuals instead of the stereotypical institutional entities that the world has written about before Corona, and questions can be formulated at the end of this article: What vision can the economy hold, and what situation will the world become according to this vision?

Will you do better than institutional economic entities? Could it be a radical solution to the issue of eradicating poverty? And to talk the rest.

Author : Manahel Thabet
Published October 16, 2020
Al Bayan Newspaper

14 Oct 2020
Brain-scanning backpack brings neuroscience into the real world

Brain-scanning backpack brings neuroscience into the real world

Call it neuroscience on the go. Scientists have developed a backpack that tracks and stimulates brain activity as people go about their daily lives. The advance could allow researchers to get a sense of how the brain works outside of a laboratory—and how to monitor diseases such as Parkinson’s and post-traumatic stress disorder in real-world settings.

The technology is “an inspiring demonstration of what’s possible” with portable neuroscience equipment, says Timothy Spellman, a neurobiologist at Weill Cornell Medicine who was not involved with the work. The backpack and its vast suite of tools, he says, could broaden the landscape for neuroscience research to study the brain while the body is in motion.

Typically, when scientists want to scan the brain, they need a lot of room—and a lot of money. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scanners, which detect activity in various regions of the brain, are about the size of a pickup truck and can cost more than $1 million. And patients must stay still in the machine for about 1 hour to ensure a clear, readable scan.

Approaches like transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) that zap the brain—often to treat severe depression—are also not portable; patients must sit still and upright in a lab for about 30 minutes while a large coil delivers magnetic pulses through their scalp to electrically activate neurons.

Searching for a better way, researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), have developed what they call the mobile deep brain recording and stimulation platform.

Here’s how it works: A wand snakes up out of a 4-kilogram backpack to rest near the top of the patient’s scalp. There, the wand can communicate with a neural implant that lies deep in the brain. Meanwhile, the backpack is filled with monitors—a setup that allows for real-time data collection from the implant. At the same time, depending on the experiment, the participant can wear additional gear for measuring brain and body activities, including a scalp electroencephalography cap with electrodes that monitor surface brain activity, a pair of virtual reality goggles that track eye movement, and other devices that track heart and breathing rates. All of this information can then be synchronized with signals from the implant.

“The beauty of this is that you have many streams of data that are coming in simultaneously,” says study author Zahra Aghajan, a UCLA neurophysicist.

In lab testing, the team was able to show that the backpack records activity and stimulates various brain regions without requiring people to stay still. It was also able to collect the same data as an fMRI machine and stimulate the brain in a way similar to TMS, the team reports this week in Neuron.

Not being tied to a lab setting could enable scientists to study how the brain functions while people are in motion and interacting with others, rather than lying still inside an fMRI machine, the researchers say.

There’s a catch, however: Only patients who have neural implants can use the device. About 150,000 people worldwide have such implants, which doctors use to treat and monitor a wide range of conditions including Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

The team has released the backpack’s software and blueprints for all scientists to use, says study author Uros Topalovic, a Ph.D. student at UCLA. The hope, he says, is that other researchers can use the technology to study neurological conditions of all kinds without the constraints of a lab or hospital bed.

Source: https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/09/brain-scanning-backpack-brings-neuroscience-real-world

13 Oct 2020
Digitalization of MSMEs needs broad support package

Digitalization of MSMEs needs broad support package

Micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Europe and Central Asia need an integrated package of financial and non-financial instruments to help them adapt to the twin challenges of COVID-19 and accelerated digitalization, according to the panel for the recent GMIS Digital Series webinar, “Industrial Recovery in Europe and Central Asia: Accelerating Digital Transformation for MSMEs”.

Taras Kachka, Deputy Minister for Economic Development, Trade and Agriculture – Trade Representative of Ukraine, stressed the need for “better balance” in mitigating the pandemic while preserving the economy, particularly the MSME sector. He noted the need to improve skills, and the certification of products and services, and to increase transparency. “MSMEs are the key drivers of regional economic growth but the lockdown measures put in place in every country have impacted their ability to produce, trade and serve their communities as supply chains were disrupted,” lamented Kachka.

Naira Margaryan, Armenia’s Deputy Minister of Economy, noted the imperative of building capacity for women and youth, given the paucity of leadership positions they occupy. She said, “Although the crisis has been devastating for some, for other businesses it creates new employment and self-employment opportunities. In Armenia, we are seeing women embrace this as an opportunity to step up, so, to support their efforts, we in the government are working to provide better access for women to enter business networks and are supporting capacity and skill-building, particularly in the manufacturing sector.”

Milena Angelova, Vice-President of the EU’s European Economic and Social Committee, focused on the need for targeted investments to specific sectors, for digitalization of MSMEs, digital skills and financial support to MSMEs, particularly through enhanced partnerships. “The main challenge is to prevent any loss of industrial production but to do this, we need to map out the impact of the pandemic on individual sectors and countries to identify where support is needed the most. Until now, much of the business community’s response to the crisis has been on a local level. This approach will not deliver a sustainable recovery. To do so, we need to draw these efforts together, to form a network across Europe and Asia to build cohesion and a multiplier effect,” said Angelova.

Maja Tomanic-Vidovic, Director, Slovene Enterprise Fund, noted that since the outbreak of COVID-19, 75 per cent of MSMEs had lost employees, 70 per cent had falling revenues, while 40 per cent suffer from liquidity issues. In the long-run, she noted, MSEMs will have to adapt to the accelerated paradigm of digitalization. She warned, “We have to accept that nothing will be the same as before…companies that don’t accept this will have problems in the future.” Concluding, Jacek Cukrowski, Chief of UNIDO’s Regional Programme, Europe and Central Asia, noted that the MSME sector is the backbone of any national economy, and that innovation is “at the core of modern business”. He listed UNIDO’s interventions in this area, including tailored programmes for the digitalization of MSMEs, enhancing digital resilience and competitiveness, digital upskilling and training. Cukrowski stressed, “Ensuring [MSMEs’] resilience is key to creating a more inclusive and resilient, human-centered future and a thriving global economy.”

Source: https://moderndiplomacy.eu/2020/10/11/digitalization-of-msmes-needs-broad-support-package/

12 Oct 2020
Asia's digital economy needs a clear global tax framework

Asia’s digital economy needs a clear global tax framework

Jeff Paine is managing director of the Asia Internet Coalition, an industry association comprising leading internet and technology companies including Google, Facebook, Apple and Amazon.

Over 135 countries, led by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, are working hard to build a multilateral consensus around international tax issues arising from the growth of the digital economy. This consensus is sought through the OECD-Group of 20 Inclusive Framework on base erosion and profit shifting.

The evolving debate around international taxation seeks to address two primary concerns. The first is profit shifting, which relates to differences in countries’ tax laws existing in the present system. The second concern is that the present system may require a more comprehensive overhaul to suit today’s globalized and digitalized economy.

 

The framework applies to all consumer-facing businesses. Many people assume it is aimed at technology companies. On the contrary, it is a broad framework that recognizes that digitalization has transformed businesses and economies around the world.

A large part of the current tax system was designed after World War I and includes approximately 3,000 bilateral treaties. Simplifying this complex framework is crucial. In addition, a modern global tax framework needs to reflect the interconnected and complex trade patterns that drive our globalized world. The original framework was built around single-source products and doesn’t reflect the international nature of the way goods and services are created and sold today. Global commerce has evolved, and so must our tax system.

The OECD has recognized the need for progress and has indicated that a partial framework could be presented in October 2020 for discussion. However, there remain a few obstacles to getting this deal done. A global system that is fair and simple needs consensus. A lack of consensus and potential delays means that government revenues are impacted, and increased uncertainty for businesses.

The adverse economic impact of COVID-19 has led to an acceleration in unilateral digital taxation measures by some governments, creating double-taxation and administrative hurdles for companies, and prompting the U.S. to threaten sanctions. This regressive unilateral thinking and protestations from countries large and small are threatening to undo the OECD’s global efforts and could do more harm than good.

Against this backdrop, the world is facing a digital tax deadlock that could adversely impact economic growth, innovation, and jobs unless government leaders return to the negotiating table to find a simple and equitable solution. The lack of coordination means that companies are holding back on plans to establish operations in new markets which have resulted in fewer jobs.

The digital economy has played a transformative role in the world’s response to the challenges faced during COVID-19. Emerging technologies have been developed and deployed at an extraordinary pace. Artificial intelligence and big data analytics have enabled innovative, rapid, and wide-ranging responses to public health and essential service delivery.

In addition, COVID-19 has accelerated existing trends. With the traditional shop front temporarily shut, access to customers for most businesses has been aided by the digital economy. A lack of consensus on a global tax framework could end up restricting access to the digital economy and widen the digital divide even further by restricting investments, cross-border trade, and access to innovations for many communities.

The business community wants the certainty that an agreed global framework would bring. Fiscal consensus enables better long-term planning and a level playing for companies operating across multiple markets. The cost and complexity of individual countries creating and applying their own rules ultimately hits the pockets of the consumer and could potentially dampen the ambitions of companies to invest in future growth.

This is not just an issue for established global companies. If you are a startup operating across Asia, the cost and complexity of adhering to multiple and inconsistent rules might mean that you think twice about offering services to overseas customers.

The Asia Internet Coalition believes that all companies have a responsibility to pay taxes in compliance with the law of countries in which they operate, and members make significant economic contributions in the countries and communities where they do business. However, we believe corporate tax policies should not discriminate against companies and certain sectors and should be applied consistently in accordance with internationally agreed tax systems.

At its core, the new rules being considered by the OECD are to decide how profits are divided among countries in an era of global commerce, and where the line between goods and services is increasingly blurred in an increasingly global modern economy. We believe this is for governments to decide. However, it is in everyone’s interests for new tax rules to provide long-term stability and certainty for businesses to continue to innovate and invest in the future.

Agreement built around the key principles of neutrality, efficiency, certainty, and simplicity will give governments comfort on revenues, businesses the ability to grow and invest for the future, and consumers an understanding of the impact on their wallets.

Harnessing the potential of the digital economy is essential in driving global growth. Working together to create an enabling and harmonized regulatory environment would go a long way toward achieving this. Going it alone does not lead to a more integrated digital economy for any country, it will likely lead to the opposite.

Source: https://asia.nikkei.com/Opinion/Asia-s-digital-economy-needs-a-clear-global-tax-framework

11 Oct 2020
Protecting our environment: The role technology can play

Protecting our environment: The role technology can play

There are many different approaches to lead a sustainable lifestyle and simultaneously protect nature with technology.

Extreme poverty, rapid deforestation, melting ice, and an impending novel coronavirus disaster are only a tip of the iceberg when it comes to discussing world’s most pressing problems. While economists and environmentalists are busy understanding the impact of the world’s population; scientists and engineers across the world are busy finding out ways to reduce carbon footprints and the amount of greenhouse gases in the air.

Technological advances have helped several industries recover from recession, reduce disguised unemployment, improve quality of life and what not. If applied in the fight against climatic change, technology can help us help our future generations by:

Artificial Intelligence: AI is having an impact on agricultural practices and will soon transform how farming is done in industrialized nations, reducing our reliance on pesticides and drastically lowering water consumption. AI will make autonomous vehicles more navigate more efficiently, lowering air pollution. AI is being deployed by material scientists to develop biodegradable replacements to plastics and develop strategies to clean our oceans, which receive some eight million metric tons of plastics annually.

Eliminating waste: Today, innovation is helping eliminate food wastage, attempting to keep it out of landfills by monitoring it at all levels, from the farmland to the table. With up to 33% of the world’s food resources depleting, data analysis can significantly diminish to help reduce that figure. Data collection and analysis can assist this noble cause by connecting with supermarkets and cafés to guide surplus food items to individuals who need them the most. Advancements in biofuel digesters are putting food waste to use in producing energy. Inside our homes, smart refrigeration is helping families monitor their food wastage, including reminding them of expiry dates, some even offering ways to utilize food that is going to be expired.

Sensors: Distributed sensors as little as a dime are now observing air and water quality, distinguishing toxins, following fermentation, and catching constant information on things that are vital to our social and economic success. Wearable air quality sensors are on their way, and restricted sensor networks observing energy and water utilization in buildings help in eliminating waste. Further expansion of these sensors will drastically affect the way we live.

If we keep on producing unsustainable foods, expanding land structures and carry on with the way we do presently, our resources will breakdown. Unsustainable farming, fisheries, land projects, mining and energy are prompting remarkable biodiversity misfortune and living space debasement, misuse, contamination and environmental change. From food and water shortage to the nature of the air we inhale, the proof has never been clearer. We are, in many ways, neglecting to make the connection with nature.

There are many different approaches to lead a sustainable lifestyle and simultaneously protect nature with technology. Most of these applications are broadly utilized and have achieved critical results in the past. However, this impact could be deeper and more profitable if more people are aware of its utility, power, and impact.

Source: https://www.financialexpress.com/lifestyle/science/protecting-our-environment-the-role-can-technology-play/2102418/