Policy, business leaders tackle weaponized technology and digital transformation at Bucharest roundtable

Romania has grow to be an instance in the area when it comes to electronic transformation, adopting a regulation of interoperability, banning Russian software program answers, digitalizing felony information, and recently launching ION, the to start with AI-based mostly governing administration advisor, Romania’s minister of investigate, innovation, and digitalization, Sebastian Burduja noted in the course of The Economist’s Romanian Business & Investment decision Roundtable event.

Topics with regards to tech, financial plan, and geopolitics have been debated at the function, which brought collectively ministers, state secretaries, and other officers from the ministries of strength, finance, and analysis, heads of exploration facilities, credit history strategists, executives from pure useful resource big Iron Mountain, EU officers, and policymakers.

Sabin Sărmaș, President of the IT&C Committee of the Chamber of Deputies, Parliament of Romania, highlighted how authoritarian regimes like Russia have weaponized engineering and argued that the centralized, censoring tactic to tech taken by China intended that it could not appear up improvements like ChatGPT. On the other facet, Europe’s regulation of AI, information administration, and digital platforms is at the forefront globally in a way akin to the GDPR. Imperfect, these kinds of regulation “is created on European values and is human-centered,” the official explained.

The third speaker, Vodafone Romania’s Organization Small business Unit Director Mihnea Radulescu, proved additional careful in praising Europe’s strategy with regards to tech. He underlined that only a little percentage of SMEs in Romania are digitalized, a condition that renders them uncompetitive. Digitalization of small organizations is vital, he said, as SMEs in Romania add to 50% of the GDP, and employ far more than 60% of the workforce.

He also highlighted telecom providers’ value through the pandemic and argued that they would have on with the same main function in digitalization. Nonetheless, Radulescu states, “Europe, in

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Weak links in finance and supply chains are easily weaponized


A sign in Moscow displays currency exchange rates. Unpredictable economic consequences followed Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February.Credit: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg via Getty

When Russia invaded Ukraine on 24 February, nobody expected that the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Japan, Canada and other nations would isolate Russia from the global economy in retaliation. Instead of limited and largely symbolic sanctions, which were all Russia faced when it annexed Crimea and occupied eastern parts of Ukraine in 2014, this latest response has had devastating ripple effects.

Key Russian banks have been denied access to the US dollar, foreign reserves and the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) messaging system, which banks use to relay financial information to each other. The United States and its allies blocked the export of high-end semiconductors to Russia’s technology and defence sectors, as well as software, oil- and gas-refining equipment and other items. As one US law firm put it, it is now illegal to knowingly supply a toothbrush to a company that occasionally helps to repair Russian military equipment.

Russia’s economy is reeling. The value of Ukraine’s currency, the hryvnia, has been knocked flat by the war. No one knows what will unfold.

The biggest surprise is how this has been done — by weaponizing the networks that bind the global economy together. Financial and supply networks have chokepoints, which powerful states can use to punish individuals, businesses and even nations. Some of these points are known; many have yet to be identified.

There has been too little academic study of these pressure points, however. Policymakers lack the necessary data to make informed decisions. Companies hold information on supply chains close; governments and the public don’t have an overview. Data on financial and information networks and their vulnerabilities are similarly patchy.

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