According to calculations by the Lisbon Council, over the next few years digital innovations will be responsible for creating five new jobs for every two that disappear. Digitalisation encourages people to be entrepreneurial and brings new players into the field. The result is more robust competition, more innovation and increased quality of service.
“Digital Belgium” supports an approach, which boosts the digital economy and expands the prospect of jobs and growth.
Start-ups are the lifeblood of the digital economy. The digital giants of tomorrow are born today. Although a lot of money in Belgium is being put into savings accounts, promising start-ups find it difficult to attract capital to finance their growth. A start-up plan must help them in this offering a tax shelter for start-ups and fiscal incentives for crowdfunding. Lower wage costs and an investment allowance for digital investments also represent ways of providing support.
Still too many barriers in terms of legislation stand in the way of companies and consumers making the transition to the digital world. These barriers need to be removed. Innovative business models, for example in the sharing economy, need to be able to operate in a legally stable framework providing prospects for growth.
The Belgian e-commerce sector needs to take every opportunity to make up for the shortfall compared to other countries. For this purpose, the government and the e-commerce sector are coming together in the e-commerce platform that is being set up. The platform makes it possible to enter into dialogue, to identify issues and to work out solutions, for example in terms of growth-friendly taxation, innovative online payment systems and logistical challenges.
An initial specific initiative for e-commerce involves making night-time work possible.
From 2016 the government will make electronic invoicing a systematic obligation for its suppliers. This radical departure will have a multiplier effect; other companies will take their lead from the government. Businesses, which invoice electronically, actually have a competitive advantage internationally. For citizens who want it, paper-based communication will continue to be possible.
We are creating a cohesive framework for using the electronic signature, the electronically recorded delivery and a number of trust services such as electronic seals, timestamps or web site authentication.
By incorporating the required guarantees about the identity and the reliability of parties, we ensure that citizens and businesses have complete confidence in online transactions.
Mobile technology is transforming the delivery of health care, the approach towards prevention and following up treatments. This provides important advantages both for patients, health care practitioners and the health economy. Patients are able to monitor their health more effectively, doctors can work more efficiently and the development of innovative care applications is given a boost.
An ambitious mobile health plan and joint ventures between innovative companies, the health world and the public sector strengthen patients, give health workers access to new tools and empower Belgian companies to help to play a global role in the health sector of tomorrow.