A Roadmap for Cross Border Data Flows: Future-Proofing Readiness and Cooperation in the New Data Economy

The World Economic Forum partnered with the Bahrain Economic Development Board and a Steering Committee-led project community of organizations from around the world to co-design the Roadmap for Cross-Border Data Flows, with the aim of identifying best-practice policies that both promote innovation in data-intensive technologies and enable data collaboration at the regional and international levels.Creating effective policy on cross-border data flows is a priority for any nation that critically depends on its interactions with the rest of the world through the free flow of capital, goods, knowledge and people. Now more than ever, cross-border data flows are key predicates for countries and regions that wish to compete in the Fourth Industrial Revolution and thrive in the post COVID-19 era. Despite this reality, we are witnessing a proliferation of policies around the world that restrict the movement of data across borders, which is posing a serious threat to the global digital economy, and to the ability of nations to maximize the economic and social benefits of data-reliant technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and block chain. The countries wishing to engage in cross-border data sharing will feel confident in using the Roadmap as a guide for designing robust respective domestic policies that retain a fine balance between the benefits and risks of data flows.