Digital Economy Report 2019

News:United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has released the Digital Economy Report 2019.


About the report:

  • The report outlines enormous potential gains from the increasingly interconnected global economy but calls for concerted global efforts to spread the wealth potential to the many people who currently reap little benefit from it.
  • The report said that the United States and China create the vast majority of wealth in the digital economy as the two countries account for 75% of all patents related to blockchain technologies and as much as 90% per cent of the market capitalization value of the world’s 70 largest digital platform companies.
  • According to the report,India generated the ninth-highest e-commerce sales globally in 2017 by generating a total business of $400 billion.The contribution of this to GDP was 15%.
  • Further,the report has also said that the only way for developing countries to exercise effective economic ownership and control over the data generated in their territories was to push on mandatory data localisation.

Additional information:

Data localisation:

  • Data localisation is the act of storing data on any device physically present within the borders of a country.Localisation mandates that companies collecting critical data about consumers must store and process them within the borders of the country.
  • The main intent behind data localisation is to protect the personal and financial information of the country’s citizens and residents from foreign surveillance and give local governments and regulators the jurisdiction to call for the data when required.


  • UNCTAD is a permanent intergovernmental body established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1964.
  • It is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland and part of the UN Secretariat.
  • It was formed specifically to handle the problems of developing countries dealing with trade, investment and development issues.
  • The various other reports published by UNCTAD are (a) World Economic Situation and Prospects Report (b) Trade and Development Report (c)World Investment Report (d) The Least Developed Countries Report, (e) Information and Economy Report (f) Technology and Innovation Report and (g) Commodities and Development Report.