COVID-19 accelerates digital transformation: SCO secretary-general

ISLAMABAD, Dec. 15 (Xinhua) — Secretary-General of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Vladimir Norov said the coronavirus, despite its enormous damage to public health and global economy, had brought new opportunities by accelerating digital transformation.

Speaking via a video conference on Monday in Pakistan’s capital city, Norov said the digital economy and cross-border e-commerce will play an increasingly important role in rebuilding the world economy after the COVID-19 in terms of achieving economic growth, increasing the competitiveness of economies and improving the quality of lives, thus contributing to sustainable development goals.

“In times of COVID-19, global online retail sales are on the rise, and additional jobs are being created,” he added, according to a statement issued by an Islamabad-based think tank the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI).

The SDPI has organized a four-day conference titled Sustainable Development in the Times of COVID-19, according to the statement.

“This year’s SCO Summit concluded while finalizing an action plan for the implementation of the SCO development strategy 2025, which focuses on the early recovery of our economies from the pandemic,” the SCO secretary general said.

SDPI Joint Executive Director Vaqar Ahmed said that the action plan for the SCO development strategy is comprehensive and would provide an opportunity for all member countries to cooperate.

He said the digital transformation approach of SCO is welcomed and various sub-regional economic corridors will contribute to regional integration.

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