Xiaolan Fu speaks on impact of advances in digital technology on developing countries at UNCTAD meeting

19 April, 2018

Professor Xiaolan Fu gave a presentation on the potential impact of advances in digital technology on economic diversification and structural transformation in developing countries at an UNCTAD expert meeting last month.

Professor Fu suggested that developing countries faced particular challenges from what she termed ‘intelligentization’ – for example, the proportion of jobs at risk from automation is 69%, 77% and 85% respectively in India, China and Ethiopia – and this had the potential to deepen the global income divide.

However, she noted that changing technology might also present developing countries with an opportunity to ‘catch up’ if they are able to build digital competencies within their countries – by promoting a basic level of technological literacy and use within the general population and by improving the skills of ICT professionals.

She stressed the importance of policy and regulatory guidance and support and of collaborative efforts to achieve this.

The UNCTAD multi-year expert meeting on enhancing the enabling economic environment at all levels in support of inclusive and sustainable development, and the promotion of economic integration and cooperation took place in Geneva, Switzerland, from 19-20 March 2018.

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