Embracing the Digital Economy With an Enduring Partner
By Charles H. Rivkin
I recently traveled to Korea and #Japan
on a multi-faceted tour to reaffirm our enduring partnerships and cooperation in so many areas of mutual economic interest, including the support of entrepreneurs, the protection of intellectual property rights, and our commitment to free and open trade and investment, to name a few.
One focus of the trip, particularly in Japan, was to highlight our commitment to a free, safe, and open internet, and to urge even greater cooperation between our two countries towards making that goal a sustainable reality.
As I told an audience at the New Economy Summit, hosted by the Japan Association of the New Economy (JANE), the digital economy isn’t just an essential component of the new economy, it really is the economy.
The internet has become profoundly central in most of our lives, whether we are communicating with those we hold dear, seeking economic opportunity, or addressing the greatest shared challenges of our time, from the effects of climate change to finding cures for chronic diseases.
As two of the internet’s biggest producers and consumers, and strongest advocates, the United States and Japan recognize our roles as its stewards, committed to ensuring the internet remains a source for innovation, broadly shared prosperity and the betterment of life in general.
That is why, in multilateral forums and negotiations, we are active champions and supporters of the decentralized, multi-stakeholder approach to Internet governance, which we believe to be the most effective way to preserve that continuing viability.
As partners, we are as committed to the protection of our citizens in the virtual space, as we are to preserving the flow of open data, which is so essential to an innovative and vibrant digital economy. We continue to work together to find that balance, and to address other related issues, in those international forums and our forthcoming bilateral meetings this year, the U.S.-Japan Cyber Dialogue and the U.S.-Japan Policy Cooperation Dialogue on the Internet Economy.
As I also told the New Economic Summit audience, the internet is one of the greatest game changing assets of our time. In many ways, it’s the modern equivalent of the Goose that Laid the Golden Eggs in the well-known children’s story: a gift of prosperity to humanity. It is our responsibility to preserve it for those who use it and to expand access to approximately half the world’s population who can’t.
By extending the internet to every corner of the globe, we will see unprecedented economic growth and opportunities for developed, emerging, and developing economies alike. More people will have access to technology. More will be empowered to realize their needs and aspirations. More entrepreneurs and small manufacturers will connect with global supply chains. And no singular group will be excluded due to prohibitively high costs, lack of network connectivity, or social or cultural hurdles.
We believe the first building block to ensure that these and other positive outcomes can occur is a free and open internet. By keeping this precious asset in the hands of those who use it -- humanity in general – we can ensure that the internet remains “our” internet, and retains its extraordinary and positive power to improve, leverage, streamline, enrich, deepen and elevate our lives.
Read more: http://go.usa.gov/3WmNH
Follow Assistant Secretary Of State for the Bureau of Economic And Business Affairs Charles H. Rivkin on Twitter @AmbRivkin.