Prof. Dr. Ali Mohamed Al-Khouri
Dr. Ali Mohamed Al-Khouri, President of the Arab Federation for the Digital Economy and Advisor to the Council of Arab Economic Unity, affiliated with the League of Arab States, said that the world is currently experiencing tremendous development in the field of technology and communications, and this has led to a radical transformation in the method of trade and exchange of goods and services, and in order to keep pace with this change, Countries of the world, including Arab countries, must focus on facilitating digital and sustainable trade during the remainder of 2023, especially since it has become considered one of the most important factors affecting the global economy, through its promotion of economic growth and its contribution to expanding job opportunities and promoting sustainable development, and thanks to With digital technology, it has become possible for businesses and individuals to trade across borders easily and effectively, without the need for traditional intermediaries.
Providing an innovative environment
However, we cannot achieve sustainable digital commerce without providing an environment that encourages innovation, protects consumer rights and preserves the environment. Therefore, we must work to improve digital infrastructure, enhance cybersecurity, encourage technological innovation, and develop legislation and policies that protect consumers and achieve sustainable development.
The United Nations Global Report on Digital and Sustainable Trade Facilitation for 2023 included a wide range of trade facilitation measures, including those included in the Trade Facilitation Agreement of the World Trade Organization, and the report stressed the importance of achieving the goal of promoting a forward-looking approach to trade facilitation by countries and development partners. It also monitored the progress achieved in digital trade facilitation processes, efforts to support existing public policies, exchange good practices, and identify needs for capacity building and technical assistance. It also showed that the implementation rate of trade facilitation measures reached 69%.
Despite the ongoing disruptions in international trade, significant progress has been made in promoting digital trade more effectively over the past two years, with overall implementation rates rising by about 6 percentage points between 2021 and 2023. This imposes the need for international cooperation and interaction between governments and the private sector. International organizations and civil society. Arab countries share knowledge and experiences and exchange ideas and good practices in order to promote digital and sustainable trade.
Arab opportunities and challenges
He stressed that with increasing interest in environmental and social responsibility, promoting sustainable practices in digital commerce for Arab countries represents opportunities and challenges, after sustainable e-commerce has become the norm. The practices also provide e-commerce operations with multiple environmental benefits, which can help attract consumers and improve Customer loyalty and satisfaction.
From here, it is possible to deduce the expected changes and trends in the field of e-commerce in the Arab region, and the factors that are expected to affect the growth of this sector in the future, including the information and communications technology infrastructure, high Internet rates, and increased awareness of e-commerce, and therefore the most important opportunities. The challenges that await this sector in the future are the transition to local e-commerce platforms, improving delivery and payment services, and enhancing consumer confidence in e-commerce. There are also successful examples of emerging companies and e-merchants in the Arab region, in which technology and innovation have played a prominent role in enhancing this sector.
He explained that in the remaining months of 2023, new technologies such as “Blockchain” will grow to drive growth and provide opportunities for sustainable e-commerce businesses. In addition, the solutions sector has become an increasingly promising element in that growing market, and it is expected to continue to grow and consolidate. Its position as a major player in the market. The expected developments are that the Arab region will witness an increase in the use of e-commerce in other sectors such as real estate trade, health and education, improving the consumer experience, customizing offers and promoting the needs of the local market.