Hossam Zaki: Facing regional and global challenges requires building Arab digital economic integration

Date: 03 - 06 - 2022

Dubai – United Arab Emirates (Emirates News Agency)

His Excellency Ambassador Hossam Zaki, Assistant Secretary-General and Head of the Office of the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States, in his speech delivered remotely at the “Seamless 2022” Digital Economy Technologies Conference and Exhibition, thanked the UAE and its wise leadership for their keenness to establish and sponsor this important conference and said: “It is A leadership that is always keen on strengthening cooperation with the League of Arab States, and it has accustomed us to achieving pioneering achievements, thanks to which the UAE has become an example to be followed.. He extended his sincere thanks to Lieutenant-General H.H. Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, and Honorary President of the Arab Federation for Digital Economy.” .

He referred to reviewing the two reports recently launched by the Arab Union for the Digital Economy, which are complementary to each other. The first deals with the “Indicators of the Arab Digital Economy” in its third edition, while the second includes the “Arab Economic Report”, which focuses on the quality of life as a main goal for economic development, explaining Regarding the first report, the results of the Arab Digital Economy Index clearly reflect the continuing disparity between the conditions of the Arab countries, as the classification shows the presence of three groups of countries according to their performance.. First, they are “advanced countries” that have achieved great results and made great strides that made them occupy advanced positions.

And “middle-way countries” .. and third parties that still have a long way to go to establish a digital economy.

He stressed that mitigating this discrepancy in the situation between Arab countries is not easy, as it requires the recruitment of enormous material and human means in accordance with cooperation plans that enhance Arab economic integration, making a number of recommendations and proposals, including the availability of financial surpluses in some countries and Arab companies looking for investment opportunities. New, strategic geographical location, and the presence of some successful Arab experiences, including the Emirati experience, which are experiences that can be benefited from or repeated, and the desire of some economic powers to the Arab region and their desire to invest in it…especially in light of global competition to seize the best opportunities.

He added that to take advantage of these capabilities, the League of Arab States and its specialized organizations have made many efforts to promote Arab economic integration, and here I refer in particular to the establishment of the Greater Arab Free Trade Area, which has entered into force since 2005, thanks to which intra-Arab trade rose from 26 One billion dollars in 1998 to 224 billion dollars in 2019. I also do not miss referring to the Arab Agreement to Liberalize Trade in Services, which has entered into force since 2019, an agreement that will enhance the trade of digital services between Arab countries.. In addition to these two important files The League launched many Arab strategies, but many of these programs and plans did not find their way to activation due to lack of funding in addition to the crises that afflicted some Arab countries such as Syria, Yemen, Libya and Somalia.

He pointed out that facing the challenges of different Arab conditions and building Arab digital economic integration requires work on several fronts, such as encouraging infrastructure projects, raising the value of Arab investments, administrative reform to combat bureaucracy, stabilizing economic legislation, and other matters that may not be enough here to enumerate them, in addition to the dimension The environmental impact of the indicators of the digital economy, as countries must consider, when preparing and implementing plans to develop the digital economy, the climate impact of these efforts, which will help them to prefer options and solutions that respect the right of nature as well as the human right to development.

Zaki stressed that the issue of the interrelationship between developing the digital economy and reducing emissions to combat climate change should receive more attention from policy makers to chart a better future.


Watch the speech of the Assistant Secretary-General of the Arab League at the Seamless Conference 2022