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December 10, 2020

"Agile Nations" Sign First Agreement to Unlock Potential of Emerging Tech

World Economic Forum

Photo: Olivia Chang, Anchor, CNNMoney Switzerland, Switzerland, speaking in Investing in the Next Digital Frontier session at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2020 in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, 24 January. Image provided by & copyright © World Economic Forum / Valeriano Di Domenico.

World Economic Forum

Photo: Sigrid Kaag, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation of the Netherlands in the “The Return of Arab Unrest” session at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2020 in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, 23 January. Image provided by & copyright © World Economic Forum/Faruk Pinjo.

World Economic Forum

Photo: Participants speaking in the Ending Modern Slavery session at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2020, Open Forum, in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, 23 January. Image provided by & copyright © World Economic Forum/ Patrick Somelet.

Geneva, Switzerland, 9 December 2020 - The COVID-19 pandemic has wrought economic and social disruption worldwide. As people and businesses focus on recovery, governments must ensure that outdated regulations do not hold back innovation that will power economic growth and solve the world’s most pressing social and environmental challenges.

World Economic Forum and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) organized a panel for Agile Nations. The ministers from Canada, Denmark, Italy, Japan, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom announced their plan to lead the world in fostering responsible innovation and entrepreneurship. The Agile Nations Charter sets out each country’s commitment to creating a regulatory environment in which new ideas can thrive.

In a world-first, the agreement paves the way for the nations to cooperate in helping innovators navigate each country’s rules, test new ideas with regulators, and scale them across the seven markets. Priority areas for cooperation include the green economy, mobility, data, financial and professional services, and medical diagnosis and treatment.

The collaboration results from the World Economic Forum’s project on Agile Regulation for the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

“Too often, rules and laws are designed with the past in mind,” said Murat Sönmez, Managing Director, World Economic Forum. “Our Centres for the Fourth Industrial Revolution help governments, businesses, and citizens co-design for the future - enabling the innovation that will be needed to create jobs, maintain competitiveness, and ensure resilience to shocks. We’re excited to work with the new Agile Nations network.”

“Against a backdrop of a once-in-a-century global health and economic crisis, governments need to undertake a paradigm shift in their rulemaking activities,” said Jeffrey Schlagenhauf, Deputy Secretary-General, OECD. “To help governments navigate the challenges and develop more agile approaches to the regulatory governance of innovation, the OECD is developing principles on effective and innovation-friendly rulemaking in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The Agile Nations network is an extremely timely initiative to truly foster international regulatory cooperation for better, innovation-friendly, and up-to-date regulations worldwide.”

“The UK has a proud history of entrepreneurship and discovery, but it is only by working together internationally that we can truly unleash the incredible potential of new technology,” said Martin Callanan, Business Minister, United Kingdom. “The Agile Nations will boost collaboration to remove regulatory barriers, ensuring innovators and entrepreneurs can market and scale their innovations across all seven nations involved, and I urge other countries to join this important initiative.”

“Canada’s endorsement of the Agile Nations agreement demonstrates our commitment to creating a regulatory environment where innovation can flourish. And our respective businesses can be more efficient and competitive globally,” said Jean-Yves Duclos, President of the Treasury Board of Canada. “Canada is ready to play its part in sharing ideas and best practices on agile regulation.”

“As an international company, Siemens has always supported cross-border collaboration,” said Torsten Ende, Head of Government Affairs, Siemens. “Cross-border collaboration of regulators is the best way to avoid unnecessary divergence that could hamper innovation and to ensure future-oriented cooperation and technology with purpose. The proposed Agile Nations network, which fosters cooperation on rulemaking, is a great step in the right direction.”

“Regulatory agility, strong business-government partnerships, and constructive international regulatory cooperation are key in enabling innovation and helping businesses to emerge stronger from the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Low Yen Ling, Minister of Trade and Industry, Singapore. “Singapore looks forward to working closely with the Agile Nations network to strengthen collaboration in agile regulation to enable businesses and emerging innovations to rapidly scale up, offer new solutions, and drive greater growth.”

“We fully support this Agile Nations network as an initiative to promote international cooperation regarding the concept of ‘governance innovation’ agreed at the 2019 G20 Ministerial Meeting held in Japan. We are happy to share our experiences and knowledge about innovative governance, including projects of the Digital Architecture Design Centre established this year,” said Kouichi Munekiyo, Parliamentary Vice-Minister, Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry of Japan.

“IBM is pleased to support the Agile Nations initiative,” said Christopher Padilla, Vice-President, Government, and Regulatory Affairs, IBM. “Even as breakthroughs in technology are creating immense opportunities and improving economic and social well-being, these innovations are challenging traditional models of regulation. Promoting agile governance is a key mechanism for ensuring we reap technology’s benefits while mitigating risks. The Agile Nations Charter is an important step in fostering the international cooperation necessary to deliver on the promises of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.”

“Sperimentazione Italia (Italy Experimentation) allows companies, universities, and research institutions to experiment with frontier innovations, so that disruptive innovations’ opportunities are not missed. The time is ready to extend and apply the testing of ‘agile regulation’ within the international cooperation among countries,” said Paola Pisano, Minister of Technological Innovation, Italy.

“The UAE government is proud to endorse the Agile Nations network. It would help adopt agile governance and innovation to build strong, capable, and resilient governments. It would enable them to tackle future challenges with proactive solutions,” said Ohood Bint Khalfan Al Roumi, Minister of State for Government Development the Future, United Arab Emirates.

“New technologies can accelerate the transition to a more green and sustainable society,” said Katrine Winding, Director-General, Danish Business Authority. “However, regulatory and other barriers currently prevent start-ups and innovative SMEs in particular from bringing their ideas to market. Through innovation-friendly regulation, we will support the testing and developing of new solutions, ensuring equal competition, and protecting our citizens and the environment. It is no simple task. Denmark looks forward to addressing key challenges through the Agile Nations network.”

Source: World Economic Forum

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