Senior officials of World Bank commended the strategic Arab common vision for digital economy, they also emphasized the importance of effort coordination among the Arab countries to support digital transformation for sustainable economies. This was during the coordination meeting with the delegation of Arab economic unity council, which was held in Washington, USA, on 28 March 2019. Also, the officials showed their gratitude and appreciation to the leadership of UAE and to H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the United Arab Emirates Armed Forces, for sponsoring and supporting the strategic vision.
World Bank commended the importance of the strategic Arab common vision, and that it provides a comprehensive and integrated model for improving economic growth for all Arab countries, this would contribute to supporting social and political stability of the region, especially that they include programs of clear details for operations, and timelines of digitization projects and operations for governments, and social inclusions for Arab societies.
The outline of the conference of grantees was agreed, within the meeting of H.E. Dr. Ali Mohamed Al-Khouri, Advisor, Arab Economic Unity Council League of Arab States, and Dr. Boutheina Guermazi, Director of Digital Development of the World Bank, along with senior officials from different sectors, where the steps of coordination work are to be determined by the specialized committees from both parties.
World Bank is considered one of the biggest supporters of the strategic Arab Common Vision, this is for its importance in making digital technologies reachable for Arab region, which is considered a basic pillar of economic development of the region, where the Director of Digital Development of the World Bank, emphasized that it’s very important to have a strategic Arab common vision to create opportunities. And that knowledge transfer and lessons learned, KPIs for digital transformation operations, to build smart cities in the Arab region, all these are among the most important factors of the strategic Arab Common Vision, that the Arab Economic Unity Council worked on preparing and reviewing, along with a number Arab and global organizations, and a group of practitioner experts in the different operational fields of digital economy.
Also, Samia Melhem, Lead Policy Officer, Global ICT Group, Transport & ICT, World Bank, commended that the strategic Arab Common Vision considers the differences among Arab countries, from the perspective of digitization readiness. Moreover, accompanying the programs and the projects, with administrative reforms, and legal changes, that will enable sustaining the development required, and the opportunities of inclusion, efficiency, and innovation that digital technology would avail to the Arab countries.
From his side, Dr. Al-Khouri showed his appreciation for the efforts of World Bank to support global economic development, and its important role supporting the strategic Arab common vision to support the pillars of Arab digital economy, and the five pillars behind the strategic vision: (1) digital infrastructure, which includes policies and legislations, and availability of necessary funding, and governing national digital strategies, (2) digital innovation, which is considered a major stimulus for digital transformation, to adapt disruptive technologies for sustainable development, and the third pillar which is represented by (3) digital government, and its role to digitize procedures, to improve efficiency, performance, and transparency, and to resolve the issues of bureaucracy, and to raise public trust. While the fourth pillar is about (4) digital business, and partnership with private sector and business providers, with focus on small and medium enterprises (SMEs), to support them and improve their core contribution to the growth of Arab economies. And the fifth pillar, which is the most important, is (5) digital citizen, where the digital ecosystem must be centralized on social adaptation, and skills development to reach digital inclusion, and to create the suitable environment for innovation.
Also Dr. Al-Khouri emphasized that providing 60 million job opportunities in the coming two decades, is one of the most important reasons behind the support of global organizations for the strategic Arab common vision for digital economy, and directing global investments to take it into action, doing so under the umbrella of the league of Arab states would support this aspiration and achieve its objectives.