Conference deliberates on unleashing potential of young people for digital economy across SCO

By Xia Peiyao (People's Daily Online) 16:16, December 20, 2021

Photo taken on Dec. 18, 2021 shows the IV Youth Conference “Agora: SCOLAR Vision” in Beijing, China. (Photo provided to People’s Daily Online)

“The SCO region, with its creative youth and rapid digitalization processes that daily accelerate our economic development, will become the locomotive of the global economy in the coming decades. This is why youth entrepreneurship is a key topic,” said Vladimir Norov, Secretary-General of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), at the IV Youth Conference “Agora: SCOLAR Vision” held on Dec. 18, by the SCO Secretariat and the SCOLAR Network.

For Secretary-General Norov, the rise of Internet platforms during the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the digitalization of the service sector and created jobs with new business formats. The SCO region, which is home to more than 1 billion youth and whose combined GDP amounts to more than 22% of the global total, has a huge potential for implementing joint initiatives in promoting the digital economy.

The past few years saw a surge in social media and e-commerce activities. The number of users on livestreaming platforms in China reached 617 million in 2020, accounting for 62.4 percent of the total number of Internet users in China, while the number of live streamers exceeded 130 million, according to a report released by an institute under the China Association of Performing Arts in May.

“China's livestreaming industry revealed that streamers has become a new career in 2020, and where young people play an integral role,” said Norov, adding that “this is a powerful trend that will have a long-term impact on the choices young people will make about their careers and leave a lasting mark on society.”

Vladimir Norov, Secretary-General of Shanghai Cooperation Organization, speaks during the IV Youth Conference “Agora: SCOLAR Vision” in Beijing, China, Dec.18, 2021. (Photo provided to People’s Daily Online)

With the theme of “Social media as a driver for digital economy: content creation and e-commerce development,” the conference brought together scholars, entrepreneurs, KOLs, and industry influencers to share their practices and insightful thoughts.

According to Ji Pengfei, Vice President of the Beijing Zhongguancun Tongli Technology Service Company, new technologies currently present the world with enormous opportunities to use digital approaches to explore emerging entrepreneurial opportunities and social scenes. AR technologies, as exemplified by Bill Hu, Vice President of Nreal, will renovate the human experience and generate new business models in terms of social media and cultural tourism, among others domains.

The next generation of the Internet represented by the Metaverse also opens up a new chapter for further developing the Digital Silk Road, explained Isabel Yang, Director & Vice President of the LUSTER LightTech Company. Yang mentioned that, due to time lags and cultural differences, over 140 countries participating in the Belt and Road Initiative are in great need of a more immersive, interactive cultural exchange and trading platform.

Apart from the new possibilities presented by these rising technologies, participants also delved into topics like influencing marketing, content creation and livestreaming.

“It is important to study, discuss and find new solutions for the development of the Generation SCO, while at the same time taking actions against the destructive influence of data platforms for the development of a young person,” said Norov.

As for the way forward, the Secretary-General reiterated the founding principles of the SCO, namely for mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality, consultation, respect for cultural diversity, and the pursuit of common development. “Our future is bright,” he said, “because we are uniting 1 billion young people.” 

(Web editor: Xia Peiyao, Liang Jun)


Related Stories