As we highlighted in our previous special edition bulletin on digital transformation, SIDS are leading the implementation of digital in the context of the SAMOA Pathway, the Sustainable Development Goals, the Paris Agreement, and in pursuit of national development goals and other global priorities. Digital is already a key driver of SIDS' development, foundational to tackling climate change, and a key tool that can shape new industries and opportunities in SIDS as digital technologies can enhance SIDS’ participation in global and regional markets. Digital can also catalyse the Blue Economy, public services, and digital products and services which could continue to improve financial inclusion across SIDS. The integration of sustainable development in digital is key to fostering a green recovery that drives inclusive digital capacity and access, enhances open data, and accelerates innovations that boost the efficiency of technologies and alleviate their environmental impact.
As SIDS are in the midst of a 'Triple C' of crises - Climate Change, COVID-19, and Conflict, pre-existing bottlenecks in SIDS’ e-commerce ecosystem have been reinforced. Despite SIDS’ common challenges to digital transformation which include limited access to affordable infrastructure, SIDS are working hard to leverage the potential of digital economy. In order to foster the digital economy of SIDS, more efforts are still needed to improve financial services, promote economic empowerment of vulnerable groups, support the development of e-government, facilitate e-commerce, and boost disaster resilience.
In order to help enhance and foster their digital economy, 38 SIDS will be working on strengthening their capacities in Africa, the Caribbean and Asia and the Pacific to adopt trade policies that develop the digital economy and enhance crisis responses. This will help in developing the skills and knowledge of targeted SIDS’ representatives with innovative approaches based on a recognized blended learning method and state-of-the-art technological solutions. It will also support SIDS’ digital development and economic growth through targeting digital identity, e-commerce and statistics' gathering and will push SIDS towards meeting the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.