The UAE is the first in the Arab world in the areas of digital economy, according to the report of the Council of Economic Unity 2020
His Excellency Dr. Ali Muhammad Al-Khouri, Advisor to the Council of Arab Economic Unity and President of the Arab Federation for the Digital Economy, during his speech at the “Seamless 2020 Digital Economy Technologies Conference and Exhibition” that the “Arab Index of Digital Economy” initiative, which was announced on the day of the conference, is a new step within the efforts of the Council of Economic Unity, and the Federation The Arab Digital Economy, which aims to increase the rates of development and economic growth in the Arab region.
He also pointed out that the index is a continuation of the “Arab Vision for the Digital Economy” initiative, which is of great importance as it consolidates the building of the ambitious Arab project, and was launched at the end of 2018 in Abu Dhabi, with the aim of supporting social and economic growth in the Arab region.
Al-Khouri explained that economic data showed in the past ten years that the growth rate of the digital economy has exceeded the growth rates of the traditional economy three or more times, which highlights the role of digital technologies in creating opportunities and building new competitive capabilities that are no longer achievable by traditional means. The importance of having an indicator to measure the growth of the digital economy in the Arab region, with which it is possible to monitor the current digital and economic situation of each Arab country, as well as highlighting the strengths, opportunities and areas of development at the state and regional levels for policy makers and decision makers in Arab countries.
On the characteristics of the Arab indicator for the digital economy; Al-Khoury pointed out that the index is designed on 9 main axes, which are related to infrastructure, innovation, institutional and governmental structures, the attractiveness of labor markets, education, skills and capacity-building, all of which address the goals and priorities of sustainable development, noting that the nine axes are institutions, infrastructure, education and skills, and smart government. innovation, knowledge and technology, network readiness, business environment, financial market and sustainable development.
He pointed out that the index classified the Arab countries into three groups. The first was called the leading countries, which are countries that have made strategic investments in the field of digital transformation and employ advanced technologies and systems to support social and economic development plans. Good infrastructure and knowledge, but they still need to adopt more comprehensive plans for digital transformation and inclusion. As for the third group, it included countries that still lack basic technological infrastructure in terms of digital network readiness and Internet access rates at the level of individuals and institutions, as these countries face endless challenges. It requires not only national plans, but also a regional cooperative model that provides a context to support these countries in terms of investment opportunities, knowledge sharing and capacity building.
Al-Khouri touched on some of the main results of the 2020 report issued by the Council of Arab Economic Unity, which leads the United Arab Emirates to the Arab countries, as it retained the first place for the second year in a row, and the Gulf countries in general are still at the forefront of the digital scene in the Arab region.
At the end of his speech, Al-Khouri stressed the need for countries in the region to pay attention to the speed and unity of change in the changing and chaotic world we live in today, with the importance of keeping pace with these global changes in a systematic and orderly manner as a basis for preserving the gains achieved, as well as building awareness capacities at the level of decision makers and society as a whole to understand The facts are what they are, and then develop development plans objectively and a future vision that prioritizes the end over the means, and puts the quality of human life at the heart of the process and the goal, and this will be the basis for measuring the success or failure of our development plans.”