ŠAVŠ/TAČR Digital Czechia in a Digital Europe
Summary A contemporary economy often strives to answer a question of how to effectively overcome the middle-income trap – a phenomenon, initially described by Indermit Gill and Homi Kharas, where economic growth begins to wane significantly after a country attains a certain income level. While numerous middle-income economies relentlessly identify new strategies to buttress their economic growth, no panacea has been found thus far. Yet, new emerging concepts of digitalization and e-Government, further associated with terms such as Industry 4.0, Dark Factories, Internet of Things, Health 4.0 or Smart cities, could epitomize new solution, ultimately overcoming the middle- income trap itself. This publication focuses on numerous present-day best practices found and applied within the most digitalized European economies. Moreover, it not only identifies these practices but also adapts them for seamless implementation within the socio-economic realities of the Czech Republic. Specifically, the areas covered in this book are: the digitalization of public administration, development of digital skills, e-invoices, digitalization and automation of small and medium- size enterprises, e-Government regulations, support for startup platforms, and cyber security. The precise findings are individually summarized at the end of each chapter. Thus, these conclusions provide a comprehensive and holistic list of recommendations based on the best practices in each researched area. While the overall development of digitalization and e-Government within the Czech Republic has recently gained greater momentum – especially within political circles, the publication Digital Czechia in a Digital Europe maintains that actual implementation is still considerably wanting. This results in either slow or even an outright lack of relevant digitalization progress depending on the area. Nonetheless, the findings also indicate that despite notable qualitative variances in digitalization levels between the Czech Republic and its more advanced European partners, the difference has in economic terms not yet fully manifested. Authors ascribe this discrepancy to the still positive macroeconomic trends which do not pressure European economies into fast paced digitalization transformation – a process which will inevitably occur with the dawn of next economic recession–where economies with a developed pro-digitalization network will ineluctably fare better than those who currently lag. The research team at the SKODA AUTO University is convinced that the Czech Republic fulfills numerous essential prerequisites for effective digitalization, hence, is by default provided with several opportunities to innovatively improve its economic growth and potential. This publication strives to support such an endeavor.
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