21 nov 2016
Digital Economy

CEOE supports the digital revolution

Álvaro Nadal, Juan Rosell, José Luis Feito and Julio Linares presented at CEOE the publication titled “La Revolución Digital” (The Digital Revolution)

The Minister of Energy, Tourism and the Digital Agenda, Álvaro Nadal, highlighted that of the two great revolutions that are currently taking place in society, in the energy and in the digital sectors, the latter is the one that has the most impact on everyone’s pockets and in the working capacity of employees and entrepreneurs.  He stated this during his speech at the presentation act of issues 1 and 2 of this year’s magazine from the Institute for Economic Studies (IEE for its Spanish acronym), titled “La Revolución Digital” (The Digital Revolution”), which was held at CEOE.

CEOE supports the digital revolution
CEOE supports the digital revolution — ©CEOE

Nadal underlined six important elements that must be addressed under the Digital Agenda: the deployment of networks, which has improved significantly in the last 5 years in Spain; the promotion of European platforms, something in which our continent is falling behind and that we must boost as soon as possible and, as a third element, he referenced the definition of human rights in relation to networks, stressing that we must receive truthful information and ensure the protection of minors, among other relevant issues requiring coordination at a European level.  

As a fourth element he mentioned taxation, still largely conceived for the purchase and sale of physical products. Another element talked about by the Minister was the issue of intellectual property rights and the analysis of how public goods may be accessed and how piracy could be fought. Lastly, and as a newer topic, he referred to the Internet of things indicating that the digital transformation will change the industry and consumption of goods and services and he highlighted the great advances that have taken place in matters such as product storage, payments and the management of stocks.

On the other hand, the president of CEOE, Juan Rosell, stated that the evolution of economic growth is increasingly dependent on the digital transformation. As an example, he looked back at the fifteenth century, when 55% of the US GDP was based on agriculture, as were more than half of the jobs, while currently more than 10% of that its GDP and a slightly higher percentage in terms of jobs is based on the digital economy. He believes we will stop talking about the digital Revolution soon and start talking about digital Normality.

Julio Linares, president of CEOE’s Digital Society Commission and vice-president of Telefonica’s Board of Directors, emphasized CEOE’s efforts to boost the digital transformation and mentioned the report presented today as an example, as well as the Plan for the digitalization of society drafted by the Confederation and titled “Plan Digital 2020”.  The plan conveys our institution’s analysis to the Minister and offers to discuss any other issues with his cabinet in order to advance to the implementing stage. This plan devised by CEOE, which Linares described as being very transversal, contains 215 proposals that revolve around 15 strategies among which it is worth pointing out those related to SMEs, digital transparency and privacy, education and entrepreneurship.   

The double issue of IEE’s Magazine, which was also referred to by José Luis Feito, President of the Institute for Economic Studies who, in addition, mentioned all the people that participated in the Magazine, includes opinions from a group of experts at Telefónica, as well as from Academia, the Public Administration and the business world.  In addition, there are contributions from qualified members of CEOE’s Digital Society Commission who, through their knowledge and experience, help in understanding the causes, consequences and risks of digitization. Throughout the articles that comprise the publication, there is a description of different, but complementary, aspects of the Digital Revolution, which is already known as the Fourth Industrial Revolution, a revolution that arrived at some undefined point in time but that is here to stay.

From an economic point of view, the digital world currently represents more than 20% of the global GDP, and this percentage will keep on increasing. Although commercial and financial flows have declined significantly since 2008, digital flows, data flows and information flows are continuously expanding, and have continued to grow in recent years. From a regulatory point of view, one of the pending tasks, both in our country and at a community and international levels, will be to harmonize existing legislation.