Q2/2020 - G20 Presidenciy of Saudi Arabia
G20 Finance Ministers, 15 April 2020, Video Conference
Regardless of the pandemic, the Saudi Arabian G20 Presidency has held many of the planned meetings in the form of video conferences. The Saudi government is also sticking to the date of the G20 Summit in Riyadh on 21 and 22 November 2020.
A virtual meeting of the G20 Finance Ministers and central bank governors took place on 15 April 2020. The focal issue of the meeting was financial aid for countries and companies particularly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Another discussion item were cyber attacks on banks. The Financial Services Board (FSB) presented a working paper with recommendations on how financial institutions should react to such cyber attacks. The paper contains 46 recommendations, divided into seven categories.
- Governance – frames how cyber incident and recovery is organised and managed;
- Preparation – to establish and maintain capabilities to respond to cyber incidents, and to restore critical functions, processes, activities, systems and data affected by cyber incidents to normal operations;
- Analysis – to ensure effective response and recovery activities, including forensic analysis, and to determine the severity, impact and root cause of the cyber incident to drive appropriate response and recovery activities;
- Mitigation – to prevent the aggravation of the situation and eradicate cyber threats in a timely manner to alleviate their impact on business operations and services;
- Restoration – to repair and restore systems or assets affected by a cyber incident to safely resume business-as-usual delivery of impacted services;
- Improvement – to establish processes to improve response and recovery capabilities through lessons learnt from past cyber incidents and from proactive tools, such as tabletop exercises, tests and drills;
- Coordination and communication – to coordinate with stakeholders to maintain good cyber situational awareness and enhances the cyber resilience of the ecosystem.
The controversial issue of a global digital tax was not mentioned in the communiqué of the G20 finance ministers and central bank governors of 15 April 2020.
G20 Digital Ministers, 30 April 2020, Video Conference
A virtual meeting of the G20 Digital Ministers took place on 30 April 2020. This meeting focused on the question of how digitisation can help to cope with the consequences of the COVID-19 crisis. The ministers adopted a statement outlining seven fields of action with very detailed action plans. The G20 ministers assured to make every effort to grant secure and affordable access to the Internet for everyone. They requested the exchange of data, cyber security and research into the development of digital medical technology to be strengthened and enhanced. All in all, this document is the most comprehensive and detailed paper on digitisation and the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic on a global level.
G20 Digital Economy Task Force, 5 May and 1 to 4 June 2020
The G20 Digital Economy Task Force (G20-DETF) also continued its work under the Saudi G20 Presidency with two video conferences on 5 May 2020 and 3 and 4 June 2020. At the May 2020 meeting, the draft of a “G20 Roadmap Toward a Common Framework for Measuring the Digital Economy” was discussed. The virtual meeting in June 2020 was concerned with the “Future of Digitisation” in general. A press release lists data flow, smart cities and digital security as further topics. On 1 June 2020, a virtual discussion took place on the role of artificial intelligence in the COVID-19 crisis (G20 Dialogue on Trustworthy AI in Pandemic Response). However, there were no statements beyond the press releases. The results of the G20-DETF will be discussed at the virtual G20 Conference of Digital Ministers on 22 and 23 July 2020.
G20 Trade Ministers, 24 May 2020, Video Conference
A conference of the G20 Trade Ministers was held on 14 May 2020. The resulting statement emphasises the special importance of the interrelationships between trade and the digital economy. According to this statement, the G20 advocate a revival of the negotiations on an agreement on e-commerce and digital trade within the WTO framework on the basis of the “Joint Statement Initiative on eCommerce” and the “Moratorium on Customs Duties on Electronic Transmissions”. Under the Japanese G20 Presidency, this initiative was launched as the “Osaka Fast Track” under the slogan “Free Flow for Trusted Data” (FFTD). The WTO Ministerial Conference, scheduled for June 2020 in Kazakhstan, has been postponed to 2021.