Regional governments perform multiple public tasks and act as the nearest government institutions for citizens, offer state services and fulfill functions with focus on the society.
In our age, digital technologies are required for conducting regional economic activity, shaping economy, integrating regional markets into global economic systems.
Today, regional development structure is based on: digital economy, digital development strategy for regions, electronic management environment, target programs and specific projects, technologies and resources, people and IT specialists, amalgamation and integration, environment and sustainability, justice and unanimity.
Digital governance system for the region is:
- New source of replenishing state budget;
- precondition for economic stimulation and long-term economic growth;
- Platform for creating new job places;
- opportunity for outlining new markets and boosting economic activity;
- Efficient economic policy;
- Way for overcoming social challenges and opportunity for reduction of poverty scales;
- efficient instrument for state governance and social-economic development platform.
It should be noted that digital governance system plays important role in regional development for:
- increasing efficiency of government services;
- employing region’s resources, public coordination, growing transparency, accountability, developing social-economic and region’s sustainability;
- growth in quality of regional projects and management;
- Management of process, interactive relations and cooperation with wide society, employing and implementing innovative mechanisms;
- involvement of society in governance, control and auditing process;
- Growth in regional business environment and investment attractiveness;
- reduction of inequality and political influences;
- Intensification of regional development and interregional activities;
- piratical implementation of digital governance on regional level;
Today main challenges in the Region:
- Digital policy is not balanced, social and economic background is weak;
- There is significant inequality in access to technological skills, digital proficiency, informative and communication technologies, informative resources;
- The country lacks for education programs in digital governance, the propaganda is weak. The existing program for deepening digital proficiency is targeted onto small segments;
- Digital space has been developed unequally: regions differ from each other due to size, obligations, pricing policy, shaping digital products, access to services, Internet quality, investments attractiveness of digital market and perception of telecommunication services;
- Small digital programs and initiatives for regions. There are rare cases when digital initiatives are adapted to regions, Internet projects are fragmented;
- Region’s population has no opportunity to fully employ digital environment potential, employ digital governance service components, participate in digital business activity and digital governance process;
It should be noted that regional government is responsible for growing innovative and digital processes for regional development, growing region’s competitive capacity, attaining digital economic policy goals and developing the region by the existing resources.
It is recognized that digital commerce and digital market potential is one of the resources for revival of regional economy and these components considerably grow importance of this issue, including: mobile commerce (global economic potential – 10.8 trillion USD), mobile industry (economic potential – 1.57 trillion USD), digital healthcare (economic potential – 1.6 trillion USD), digital education (economic potential – 46.6 billion USD), digital tourism, social electronic commerce.
It should be noted that digital commerce is a global phenomenon that grows in region at fast paces. New markets arise every day and they create growing economy and attain new phases of development. From the most major market of electronic commerce we can mention: electronic commerce market of China. Annual online trade operations attains 672 billion USD; The USA represents the largest electronic commerce country with 340 billion USD online trade a year. Great Britain is a major player on electronic commerce market and its online trade volume reaches 99 billion USD a year; Japan is a leading country in mobile commerce. Annual online trading reaches 79 billion USD; Germany has biggest electronic commerce market in Europe with 73 billion USD online trading a year; Annual electronic commerce operations in France accounts for 43 billion USD. South Korea is famous for high-speed internet and holds major electronic commerce market with 37 billion USD online commerce a year; Canada owns a huge electronic commerce market with low competition and 30 billion USD trade a year; Russia’s annual electronic commerce operations hit 20 billion USD, while in Brazil electronic commerce operations make up about 19 billion USD (source business.com).
It is worth noting that electronic governance system:
- grows digital processes, ensures innovative and economic development in the region;
- ensures taking efficient governance decisions and active involvement of region’s population in governance processes, grows digital proficiency of the society, economic activity of target groups;
- Offers optimization of expenditures, grows transparency of services. Simplifies administrative procedures, grows efficiency of functions and mechanisms;
- ensures economic and social integration of Government in neighboring countries and economic communities of the region;
- ensures employment of region’s innovative potential and spreads components of electronic services;
- convergence and integration of markets, formation of universal service system;
- reduction of cyber risks and cyber threats;
As for conclusion, according to region’s sustainable development policy, attention should be paid to the following directions:
- Strong leadership positions and governance chain;
- Developing online governance programs and support of internet industry development;
- development of region’s key sectors in online regime;
- Mobile commerce;
- electronic healthcare;
- digital tourism;
- digital education;
- science and researches;
- digital market and social electronic commerce;
Rati Abuladze – Doctor of Economics, Professor