The Fourth United Nations World Data Forum commenced in Hangzhou City, located in east China’s Zhejiang Province, on Monday. This marks the first time the forum is being held in the Asia-Pacific region, with China being the host country. Over 1,000 representatives from more than 100 countries and regions will attend the forum, which will consist of six plenary meetings and 72 parallel sessions over the next three days. The forum aims to encourage cooperation and exchanges among global data users and producers, with a focus on the theme “Towards Data that Empowers Our World” and four major areas: innovation and cooperation on data, exploration of data value, improvement of data credibility, and the construction of a sound data ecology.
Zhejiang Province has become a hub for data construction, as the United Nations established one of its four regional hubs for Big Data in the province in 2020. Another UN institute, the Global Geospatial Knowledge and Innovation Center, was also established in the province last year. Despite the pandemic’s impact, the Hangzhou regional hub has maintained exchanges and cooperation with other international organizations and centers, according to Mao Shengyong, deputy director of the National Bureau of Statistics, during a press conference. Stefan Schweinfest, director of UN Statistics Division, noted that they have been “working very closely with China” and praised China’s public-private partnerships, which have helped improve data crucial for national development. Xu Wenguang, vice governor of Zhejiang, added that the province’s capital city has fostered 11,000 digital high-tech enterprises, including one of the world’s top 500 enterprises and 164 listed enterprises.