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Media Advisory

ITU to hold Economic Experts Roundtable on COVID-19 and the digital economy

Experts to tackle the contribution of digital infrastructure to social and economic resilience during and after the pandemic

Geneva, 25 June 2020

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) will hold an Economic Experts Roundtable entitled “COVID-19 and the Digital Economy" on Friday, 26 June, bringing together leading economic experts who will exchange views on the latest research and analysis concerning COVID-19 and the digital economy.
The roundtable will be organized in two panels. The first one will focus on the economic impact of COVID-19 on the digital infrastructure as a crucial enabler for the changing economy and society. The second panel will focus on how digital infrastructure contributes to social and economic resilience facing the pandemic. 
COVID-19 has had extremely broad impact on economic activity. Digital technologies have enabled critical connectivity and facilitated the continuity of our everyday lives, connecting people more than ever before. More people have turned to their computers and smartphones for telework, telemedicine, food delivery and logistics, online and contactless payments, remote learning, and entertainment. Information and communication technologies (ICTs) and reliable digital infrastructure may continue to be important during and after the pandemic.
Since its launch at ITU Telecom World in 2015, the Economic Experts Roundtable has brought together numerous ICT economic and industry experts to exchange views on the latest trends and issues related to the development of telecommunication/ICTs, focusing on notable economic and financial aspects.
Building on the previous discussions, the findings and conclusions of this year's Economic Experts Roundtable will be a concise and actionable report for policy-makers, regulators and other industry decision-makers. 

WHAT: Economic Experts Roundtable 
WHERE: Open webinar on the Zoom remote meeting platform 
WHEN: Friday, 26 June 2020 , 15:00 – 17:00 CEST 
Opening remarks:
  • Mr. Houlin Zhao, ITU Secretary-General
  • Ms. Doreen Bogdan-Martin, Director of the ITU Telecommunication Development Bureau  
Panel 1: Impact of COVID-19 on the digital infrastructure and digital economy
  • Ms. Mayssaa Issa, Head, Research and Intelligence Practice (Delta Partners Group)
  • Mr. Matt Yardley (PhD), Managing Partner (Analysys Mason)
  • Mr. German Cufre, Global Head, Telecommunications, Media and Technology (International Finance Corp.)
  • Mr. Shaun Collins, CEO (CCS Insight)
  • Mr. Steve Brazier, President and CEO (Canalys)
  • Mr. Paul Lam, Strategy Officer, Digital & Technology (Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank)
Panel 2: The role of digital infrastructure in increasing social and economic resilience in the face of COVID-19
  • Mr. Tim Kelly (PhD), Lead Digital Development Specialist (World Bank)
  • Ms. Alison Gillwald (PhD), Executive Director (Research ICT Africa)
  • Mr. Jonathan Woetzel, Director of McKinsey Global Institute and Senior Partner (McKinsey)
  • Ms. Alexandra Rehak, Chief Analyst (OMDIA)
  • Ms. Audrey Plonk, Head of Digital Economy Division (OECD)
  • Mr. Rohan Samrajiva (PhD), Chairman (LIRNE Asia)
  • Mr. Guy Zibi, Managing Director (Xalam Analytics)