Business Roundtable CEOs, who lead companies operating in every sector of the economy, recognize that moving data across national borders is essential to economic growth, innovation and improving the quality of the life of people around the world. From email to remote sensing, cross-border data flows allow businesses, both small and large, in every country and sector, to communicate with remote sites, suppliers, workers and customers. Cross-border data flows make it possible for businesses to enhance productivity and reduce environmental footprints while enabling new and innovative products and services. New Internet-enabled, data-driven technologies also allow governments to better deliver services to their citizens.
Global data flows deliver economic promise worldwide:
- Each 10-percentage point increase in broadband services penetration leads to a 1.3 percent boost to economic growth.
- More connected economies experience up to 40 percent greater GDP growth from data flows than less connected economies.
- Internet access to overseas markets can reduce by 65 percent the impact of geographical isolation from major export markets.
- Companies can create $14 trillion estimated bottom-line value by harnessing the “Internet of Everything” over the next decade.
Unfortunately, overbroad national laws and regulations that would impede cross-border data flows are spreading across the globe – restricting innovation and productivity. These policies should be assessed to identify their potentially far-reaching effects and costs. Policymakers should also seek trade agreements and laws that provide clarity, consistency and stability for all stakeholders using data flows. This approach would give governments the assurances they need while reducing trade barriers, promoting cross-border business investment and maximizing economic opportunities for businesses and their customers in an interconnected world.
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