The World Bank has recently published “Europe 4.0 : Addressing the Digital Dilemma”. This report examines the underlying economics of different types of digital technologies. It highlights what the new drivers of change are, why the dynamics with this latest round of technological change may be different, and what the distributional impacts may be within and across countries. It then examines the evidence for how different digital technologies are – or are not – contributing to competitiveness and opportunities for small and young firms, and firms in less developed areas, and what can be done about it. Europe faces a digital dilemma. European firms are particularly strong in operational technologies such as smart robotics and 3D printing. While this helps Europe’s competitiveness, it also widens the divide between large and small firms, and leading and lagging regions. On the other hand, digital technologies, such as transactional technologies or matching platforms, have the greatest potential for market inclusion and convergence, but this is where Europe remains less competitive. The report lays out how Europe 4.0 is attainable. The COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic has highlighted the importance of the data economy — and raised the risks if the digital dilemma is not addressed. This report provides a framework, evidence and recommendations on how governments can respond. Europe has the chance to attain a dynamic and inclusive technologically enhanced future, it should take that chance.
The full-text is available from the World Bank website.