The fourth industrial revolution, or what is dubbed as Industry 4.0 is here.

Digital technology is now defining manufacturing industries. Digitalization has brought about smart factories, increasing productivity and expediting delivery of products and services. As technology transforms companies, how are small and medium enterprises (SMEs) expected to adopt to the current trend of automation?

The Jeju Forum for Peace and Prosperity is happening on June 26-28 in Jeju, South Korea. It is one of the major international forums in Asia where world leaders and experts meet to exchange ideas on how to strengthen security, build peace, and increase prosperity. A session on Industry 4.0 and New Frameworks for Entrepreneurship on 27 June 2018 will look into the impact of this new industrial revolution. The regional multilateral dialogue will provide insights on issues on digitalization, and how it can promote economic prosperity that should translate to economic freedom.

The discussion will focus on the extent of government’s role in the process of businesses’ digital transformation. Policies that balance the need for freedom to innovate and mitigate the risks and upheavals of disruptive change will be reviewed.

Innovation and technology experts and leaders in the startup scene including Christian Blobner, Head of International Research Networks at Fraunhofer Institute for Factory Operation and Automation, FONG Po Kiu, Honorary President of Hong Kong Information Technology Federation (HKITF), Yong Suk Lee, Deputy Director of the Korea Program at the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center at Stanford University, and Karena Belin, co-founder of Hong Kong-based startup community online platform WHub will sit as panelists.

Germany is considered as the architect of Industry 4.0. Its High-Tech Strategy 2020 is pursued to ensure Germany’s technological leadership. South Korea is catching up. One of the government’s key innovation policies in manufacturing is to provide support to up to 10,000 SMEs so they can have smart factory systems by 2020. Meanwhile, Hong Kong is considered as most dynamic place for startups.

The Economic Freedom Network (EFN), a network of research institutes and think tanks, and the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom (FNF), a German political organization that promotes free market are hosting the session.

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