Keyvisual of the Joint G20 German Presidency-OECD Conference; source: Shutterstock

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G20 – Shaping digitalisation at global level

If we want to use digitalisation for the good of all people, we need an international framework. As part of its G20 Presidency, Germany therefore organised the first ever meeting of the G20 Digital Ministers on 6-7 April in Düsseldorf, entitled ‘Digitalisation: Policies for a Digital Future’.

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Digitalisation: Global, innovative & fair

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Global. Innovative. Fair. - This is the digital future we are shaping.

The Global. Innovative. Fair brochure explains how the digital transformation is influencing many aspects our daily lives and what opportunities it opens up. The brochure can be downloaded as a PDF here.


Shaping digitalisation together with other countries

Germany took over the G20 Presidency on 1 December 2016. Digitalisation will be a core focus during this period, being a key element for strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth in the world economy. This is why Germany decided to host the first ever meeting of the G20 Digital Ministers from 6-7 April 2017 in Düsseldorf in order to discuss ‘Digitalisation: Policies for a Digital Future’.

If we want to use digitalisation for the good of all people, we need a joint, international framework. We need shared rules and standards that apply around the globe – from technical standards, to grid expansion, through to competition and regulation-based issues, in an economy that is increasingly driven by platforms.

Following on from the Chinese Presidency, a Task Force for the Digital Economy will be created. This Task Force will work together with the OECD to develop a work programme that seeks to identify the core fields of digital policy in the short-term future. The aim is to leverage the full potential of digitalisation for the economy and for society over the coming years.

The Digital Ministers of the G20 and of the guest countries (Spain, Norway, the Netherlands and Singapore) used their meeting to focus on the following three core areas.

The digital transformation comes not only with opportunities, but also with challenges – challenges which the G20 want to look at and address together. It is important to use digitalisation to foster global growth. This means that barriers to growth need to be identified and new solutions developed for the years ahead.

Twenty-first century industry is global; companies around the world are connected with one another via the internet. This means that internationally harmonised standards are urgently needed in order to ensure interoperability between the different systems.

In order to leverage the full potential of digitalisation and the internet, transparency and trust are essential – for both consumers and companies alike.

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G20 process on digitalisation – roadmap



G20-OECD conference



First task force meeting



Second task force meeting



Conference on Digitizing Manufacturing



Multi-Stakeholder Conference Digitalisation: ‘Policies for a Digital Future’



Digital Ministers Conference



G20 summit

On 12 January 2017, the OECD joined with the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy to host a conference entitled ‘Key Issues for Digital Transformation in the G20’ in Berlin. The results of the conference will be fed into digital ministers’ process and will serve as the basis for the meeting of the G20 digital ministers which is set for 6 and 7 April 2017.

Further information

On 13 January 2017, the Task Force on the Digital Economy held its first meeting in Berlin. The Task Force discussed common issues of digital policy.

On 3 March 2017, the Task Force on the Digital Economy held its second meeting in Berlin. The goal was to agree on proposals to be the finalized at the Digital Ministers’ Meeting.

From 15 to 17 March 2017, the event entitled ‘Digitizing Manufacturing - Conference on Initiatives and Policy Approaches’ took place in Berlin. Representatives of companies and initiatives as well as other Industrie 4.0 stakeholders joined together to share their experience. The goal was to compile best practice examples and identify suitable fields for cooperation. These are to be fed into the Ministerial Declaration.

Further information

The G20 Digital Ministers Conference opened with a multi-stakeholder conference on 6 April 2017 in Düsseldorf. Civil society representatives from all G20 countries joined the conference. The discussion focussed on what the G20 can do to continue to drive forward the digital transformation and how the stakeholders can support the G20’s efforts.

Further information

On 6 and 7 April 2017, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy hosted the G20’s first Digital Ministers Conference. The digital ministers from the G20 countries and other invited guests (Spain, Norway, the Netherlands and Singapore) joined together in Düsseldorf to discuss the issue of ‘Digitalisation: Policies for a Digital Future.’

Further information

On 7 and 8 July 2017, the heads of state and government of the G20 countries will meet for a summit meeting in Hamburg. The results obtained at the Digital Ministers’ Conference will be fed into this event.

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The German G20 Presidency

Germany took over the G20 Presidency on 1 December 2016. It will use this time to build upon the achievements of the previous presidencies and to introduce further areas of focus. The aim is to use collective action to limit economic, social, environmental and political risks and to ensure growth that is strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive. For more information on the core objectives and areas of focus of the German G20 Presidency, please go to