The Board of Directors of the Faculty of Economics and Political Science at Cairo University reviews some economic publications of the Arab Federation for the Digital Economy

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Date: 18 - 02 - 2024

Cairo

The Board of Directors of the Faculty of Economics and Political Science at Cairo University reviewed two studies on the data economy and its role in strengthening economic systems, and the low-carbon global economy, which will be issued in cooperation between the Arab Center for Learning and Future Studies at the Arab Federation for the Digital Economy, the Center for Economic and Financial Studies and Research at Cairo University, and the Arab Organization for Administrative Development at Cairo University. Arab countries.

During the meeting, the joint cooperation between the Arab Federation for the Digital Economy and the Center for Economic and Financial Research and Studies was praised, which previously resulted in the issuance of the Arab Vision for the Digital Economy, which was issued in 2018 in the city of Abu Dhabi, and was approved by Arab leaders in Algeria in November 2022.

The concerned members of the Council also praised the two studies and thanked His Excellency Dr. Ali Mohamed Al-Khouri, Advisor to the Arab Economic Unity Council and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Arab Federation for the Digital Economy, for the effort made in preparing the studies at the highest level, and the valuable and useful information they contain for decision-makers in the Arab region, wishing His Excellency and the Arab Federation for the Digital Economy continued progress and prosperity.

 

The Arab Council of Ministers for Communications and Information approves the Arab strategy for cybersecurity

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Date: 04 - 02 - 2024

Abu Dhabi

Source: Al-Ahram Egyptian newspaper

 

The Council of Arab Ministers for Communications and Information, during its twenty-seventh session held on January 18, 2024 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, approved the Arab Strategy for Cybersecurity, which was prepared by the Arab Organization for Communication and Information Technologies in implementation of the decision of the Arab Economic and Social Development Summit in its fourth session – Beirut – Republic of Lebanon. Year 2019.

The organization has begun preparing this strategy during the period 2022-2023. The organization, within the framework of the work of the structures affiliated with the Council of Arab Ministers for Communications and Information, presented this strategy to specialized work teams to finally approve it after taking into account the comments and proposals of Arab countries and regional organizations and institutions working in the field of communication and information technologies and concerned with the field of cybersecurity.

The development of the Arab strategy for cybersecurity falls within the implementation of a number of regional initiatives that aim to enhance Arab cooperation in the field of communication and information technologies, especially in implementation of the outcomes and recommendations of the Arab Digital Agenda 2023-2033 and the Arab Vision for the Digital Economy.

The Arab Cybersecurity Strategy was based on the following strategic vision: Towards a secure, integrated Arab society integrated into the global digital economy and self-sufficient in the field of solutions and expertise that support digital trust and protect the Arab cyberspace.

The approved strategy proposes the implementation of eight main work packages, which are:
• Developing a unified framework for assessing cybersecurity
• Strengthening training and raising awareness in the field of cybersecurity
• Establishing and developing an Arab-regional team to respond to cybersecurity incidents/CSIRT
• Promoting compliance with international standards
• Strengthening Maturity of institutional and governance structures
• Support cybersecurity R&D
• Develop uniform procedures/legal frameworks
• Develop cybersecurity industries and attract skills

During the coming period, the organization will work to implement the various work packages proposed within the framework of this strategy, in partnership with various regional partners from the public and private sectors, and in cooperation with international institutions working in the field.

 

Addiction, crime and the Arab economy

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Date: 01 - 02 - 2024

Cairo

Source: Al-Wafd newspaper

Dr. Ali Mohamed Al-Khouri

The widespread issue of drug addiction in the Arab world has become a matter of concern, especially because of its profound social and economic impacts. This phenomenon, which is on the rise significantly among young people, is no longer only linked to an increase in crime rates, but also portends the disintegration of the family structure and the demolition of the foundations of social stability, economic development and growth at the national level.

The International Narcotics Control Board indicated in 2019 the staggering size of the global drug trade, which exceeded $800 billion annually, and that nearly $120 billion had been laundered through global financial markets and major banks. International reports note that the Arab countries, due to their strategic geographical location, have become an important channel in this illicit trade, and that addiction rates in them have risen to about 7-10%, the majority of whom are from the youth demographic group. Specialists explain that the aggravation of this situation is due to the recent social transformations and economic conditions that have reshaped the fabric of Arab societies, including the erosion of traditional family roles and the spread of unregulated access to the Internet and satellite channels among younger generations.

In the Arabian Gulf region, drug consumption rates reached an alarming rate of 4.6%, exceeding those in the United States (2.2%) and South American countries (2.5%). It appears that conflicts and social and political instability, especially in countries such as Iraq, have led to an increase in drug trafficking and drug abuse. Reports of the Iraqi Ministry of Health indicate alarmingly high rates of addiction among young people, with the number of addicts reaching three to four out of every ten between the ages of 18 and 30 years.

There is no doubt that the impact of these challenges on national economies is multifaceted. The depletion of public health resources, loss of productivity, and the diversion of funds into illicit activities all contribute to economic destabilization. In addition, social costs, including increased crime rates and the erosion of family structures, have long-term implications for achieving sustainable economic development goals.

Effectively addressing this issue requires comprehensive national strategies. Education and awareness of the dangers of drug addiction are important first steps. Family and educational institutions must play their role in early intervention and prevention. National plans must also invest in infrastructure and healthy coping mechanisms, such as physical activities, counseling, and practicing hobbies, as basic alternatives to drug abuse.

These plans must also take into account the implementation of short- and long-term strategies, including educational reforms, intensifying media campaigns, and ensuring the adequacy of legal measures against drug trafficking and use. These strategies should also aim to strengthen family ties and support stable family structures as an effective buffer against addiction and its associated social ills.

In conclusion, the interaction between addiction, crime, and family disintegration in the Arab world poses major economic and social challenges, including decreased productivity, increased health care costs, and the diversion of national resources to combat drug trafficking and crime. National strategies must be designed not only to reduce the immediate crisis, but also to stabilize the national economic and social environment in the long term.

Impacts of climate change on international trade: challenges and solutions

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Date: 31 - 01 - 2024

Abu Dhabi

Source: Alittihad Newspaper

Mufakiru Alemarat

Dr. Ali Mohamed Al Khouri

With the escalation of the repercussions of the climate crisis, the growing environmental impacts on international trade are emerging as an issue that requires study, analysis, and exploration of effective solutions. It is no longer possible to ignore the diverse and multidimensional impacts of climate change, which range in their simplest form from changes in production and consumption patterns, and extend To face the challenges of the flow of goods and commodities, including high shipping and production costs, as well as the disruption of major infrastructure, such as ports and sea lanes, which hinders the process of international transport and trade.

According to the report of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), global trade witnessed a decline of 5 percent in 2023 compared to the previous year, with expectations indicating that this decline will continue in the current year (2024). This decline is partly due to the impact of climate on fluctuations in crop production, and the shortage of natural resources, which has become more complex in the global economic situation. For example, severe drought and low water levels in the Panama Canal – one of the most important global trade corridors – had a direct impact on the canal’s ability to accommodate ships and goods, which threatens to disrupt global supply chains and raise costs. Likewise, rising temperatures in France have led to a reduction in nuclear energy production due to the increased temperature of the river water used to cool the reactors.

Of course, developing countries will be most affected by climate change, given that their economies rely heavily on agriculture and natural resources. A study published by the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment indicates that global agricultural productivity is 21 percent lower than it would have been without the impact of climate change, and that this decline is equivalent to the loss of about seven years of agricultural productivity growth since the 1960s. Global reports confirm that climate changes will lead to structural changes in the global agricultural trade network, fluctuation in crop production, and will affect food supplies and prices globally. According to a report issued by the World Bank, climate change is expected to lead to a decrease in average global income by up to 23 per cent. 100 by 2100 if no meaningful action is taken.

The solutions, which revolve around global reports, revolve around the need for national policies to focus on strengthening the capabilities to adapt to climate change, especially in developing countries that rely heavily on agriculture and lack solid infrastructure. These policies also need to be accompanied by strategies for trade. Green and sustainable international. This includes encouraging and supporting innovations and low-carbon technologies in various economic sectors, integrating environmental considerations into economic and commercial planning to ensure a balance between targeted economic growth levels and environmental conservation requirements, in addition to intensive international cooperation to ensure the provision of climate financing, work to implement previous commitments, and develop mechanisms. New measures to ensure that the necessary financial support is provided to countries most affected by climate change.

It is important that these policies take into account the social dimensions of climate change, such as its impact on poverty and the equitable distribution of resources, especially if we take into account estimates of economic losses resulting from climate change, which may reach $23 trillion by 2050, according to the Maat Foundation report. For peace, development and human rights.”

In addition, governments and international institutions must promote research and innovation to develop technologies and methodologies resistant to climate change. This includes stimulating the private sector and academic institutions to contribute to finding innovative and effective solutions that help reduce the negative effects of climate change on international trade.

In conclusion, international policies must adopt a comprehensive approach that addresses the impact of climate change on international trade, with a focus on sustainability, integration, and adaptation to future challenges. This requires continuous cooperation and coordination between countries and international organizations, with a focus on innovation and smart financing to adapt to future challenges and take advantage of new opportunities emerging within the framework of a more sustainable and resilient global economy.

The Arab Federation for the Digital Economy participates in the third workshop of the regional working group “Artificial Intelligence for Sustainability”

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Date: 29 - 01 - 2024

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

The Arab Federation for the Digital Economy, a member of the Executive Office of the Arab Federations Forum of the League of Arab States, participated in the third workshop of the regional working group “Artificial Intelligence for Sustainability” emanating from the “Arab Digital Platform for Sustainable Development,” entitled: “Artificial Intelligence Ethics Tools: Challenges and Opportunities.” To achieve sustainable development goals in the Arab region” in cooperation with UNESCO and the International Center for Artificial Intelligence Research and Ethics, which was held on January 29 – 30, 2024 in the Digital City in Riyadh – Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, in cooperation with the League of Arab States, and the Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority.

For its part, the Arab Federation for the Digital Economy, through the Assistant Secretary-General, presented a working paper on the ethical foundations for dealing with artificial intelligence, and the rapid development and innovation opportunities witnessed by artificial intelligence technology in various fields to include many sectors, such as: health, education, entertainment, and others, which led to accelerating The pace of decision-making processes and make them more efficient and accurate thanks to the capabilities it provides to predict future patterns.

The working paper also noted the importance of artificial intelligence systems seeking to protect the values ​​of justice and equality, so that individuals are not exposed to discrimination by algorithms, due to race, color, gender, language, religion, national or social origin, property, birth, or any other status. This commitment must be reflected in the pursuit of artificial intelligence to work to ensure sustainable food systems in the future, develop health systems, and reach curricula that cover different specializations in the humanities and technical sciences, and this should be done through methods accessible to everyone.

 

The Arab Federation for the Digital Economy reviews some of its initiatives at its Board of Directors meeting

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Date: 25 - 01 - 2024

Abu Dhabi

Within the framework of the efforts of the Arab Federation for the Digital Economy to promote digital transformation in the Arab world, the Board of Directors of the Arab Federation for the Digital Economy held its coordination meeting headed by His Excellency Dr. Ali Mohamed Al-Khouri, Chairman of the Board of Directors, and in the presence of His Excellency Engineer Atef Helmy, Chairman of the General Assembly, His Excellency Minister Amr Salem, Minister of Foreign Trade and former Minister of Communications and Technology of the Syrian Arab Republic, and His Excellency Dr. Hani Mohamed, former Minister of Communications and Information Technology of the Arab Republic of Egypt, His Excellency Ruqaya Al Derham, Secretary of State to the Minister of Industry, Investment, Trade and Digital Economy, formerly in charge of Foreign Trade in the Kingdom of Morocco, His Excellency Major General Yahya bin Zahem, and Dr. Muhammad Al-Qarsh – Assistant Minister of Agriculture and Land Reclamation – Egypt, His Excellency Abdullah Al-Jabri, His Excellency Laila Al-Jassem, and His Excellency Ambassador Muhammad Khair Abdel Qader – Secretary General of the Arab Federation for the Digital Economy.

The meeting included a review of the position of the Arab Food Market Project and the progress of work towards establishing a broad alliance between government agencies, the public and private sectors, and the technological sector to create a digital market through which the export capabilities of producers of various products can be enhanced, and administrative and technological solutions for transactions related to export activities can be found.

In a related context, the Arab strategy for cybersecurity was discussed, where the Arab Federation for the Digital Economy participates as an active member in the work team, with the Arab Organization for Communications and Information Technologies, which led the team, in addition to the participation of other Arab and international bodies. The axes of this cybersecurity strategy are based on confronting regional and global challenges in communications and information systems, with the aim of fortifying cybersecurity in the Arab region.

 

The attendees expressed their appreciation for the efforts made in preparing this strategy, especially for the pioneering role played by the Arab Organization for Communications and Information Technologies in this field, which resulted in the adoption of the strategy at the meeting of the 27th session of the Council of Arab Ministers for Communications and Information, which was held in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, on January 18. 2024 and congratulate them.

The Union’s plans to sponsor the “Seamless Middle East 2024” Digital Economy Technologies Conference and Exhibition were also discussed, which is scheduled to be held at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Center during the period from May 14 to 16, 2024.

 

Their Excellencies, members of the Board of Directors of the Arab Federation for the Digital Economy, stressed the importance of implementing the Union’s strategic projects at the level of the Arab region, especially projects affecting food security and education, which reflects the commitment of the Arab Federation for the Digital Economy to develop and strengthen the digital economy, cooperation and innovation in the Arab world.

 

The economic landscape in emerging markets and Arab economies

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Date: 24 - 01 - 2024

Cairo

Source: Al-Wafd newspaper

Dr. Ali Mohamed Al-Khouri

The year 2024 holds mixed prospects for Arab economies and emerging markets, with expectations that the Arab region will witness a growth rate of approximately 4%, after a notable decline in 2023, which it recorded at a rate of 3.4%, compared to 5.6% in 2022. These expectations for the current year are driven by several factors. Among them are the stability of oil and basic commodity prices, the recovery of external demand, in addition to the decline in interest rates.

Despite the expected improvement in the economic growth of Arab countries in 2024, there are still a number of structural challenges that need to be addressed. These challenges include over-reliance on certain sectors such as oil and gas, weak institutions, social inequalities, and public debt. These factors hinder sustainable economic growth and development of Arab economies. Global economic challenges will also continue to put pressure on Arab economies, especially after the monetary tightening policies followed by central banks to combat inflation, which led to a decline in capital flows and a widespread weakening of Arab market currencies.

The Arab Monetary Fund stresses the need for Arab countries to continue adopting economic reforms to enhance the diversity and flexibility of their economic structures and address the structural challenges that hinder achieving high and sustainable growth rates.

It is important for Arab countries to adopt economic policies that focus on diversifying sources of income, strengthening non-oil sectors, improving infrastructure, developing institutions, and enhancing political and social stability. Developing social safety networks and reconsidering support policies are essential elements for achieving sustainable social and economic development.

It is also important to keep pace with changes in global monetary policies and develop strategies to maintain currency stability and encourage investment. We should also work to enhance regional economic integration and diversify trade partnerships to reduce exposure to fluctuations in global markets.

Arab economies face many challenges, but they also have great opportunities for growth and development if the right steps are taken towards structural reforms and diversification of economies.

 

The Israeli economy is experiencing the greatest loss

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Date: 17 - 01 - 2024

Cairo

Source: Al-Wafd newspaper

Dr. Ali Mohamed Al-Khouri

After the “Al-Aqsa Flood” operation carried out by the Palestinian factions on October 7, 2023, the Israeli aggression against the Gaza Strip witnessed a significant deterioration in the Israeli economy, as it suffered the largest losses in its history after the war continued for nearly 100 days. This decline is due to several factors, the most important of which are policies based on closure due to counterattacks launched by Palestinian factions, which targeted Israeli settlements in the Gaza Strip. Local economies were also affected by tax relief programs for store owners, and tourism, agriculture and production movement faltered due to call-ups of reserve forces. The Israeli Ministry of Finance expects a deficit in the state’s sovereign tax revenues of about 12 billion shekels by the end of this year, a change from the initial estimate of 10 billion shekels, but other and indirect losses may be more severe.

Statistics issued by the Central Bureau of Statistics in Tel Aviv show that more than 750,000 Israelis lost their jobs due to joining military service. This is a tangible loss to the Israeli economy, as they were an essential part of the workforce and active contributors to the national economy, constituting 18% of the total workforce in Israel. The Central Bank of Israel expects that the continuation of the conflict with Gaza until the end of this year (2024) will cause the economy’s growth rate to slow to 2% by the end of this year and 1% by the end of next year.

Expectations of the American bank JPMorgan Chase indicate that the Israeli economy will contract by 11%, on an annual basis, in the last quarter of 2023 due to the escalating conflict in Gaza. These estimates are considered among the most pessimistic expectations by Wall Street analysts so far, amid a heavy wave of selling of Israeli assets by investors, which led to a decline in the main stock index in Tel Aviv by 11% in local currency since the seventh of last October, and the shekel fell with it. to its lowest levels since 2012.

The most affected areas in Israel as a result of the attacks launched by Hezbollah and coming from inside Gaza on the heart of cities in Israel are the northern sector on the Lebanon front and the southern sector on the Gaza front, mainly in the areas whose residents have been evacuated, where a large part of the activity has been disrupted. Commercial activity in these areas, with tens of thousands of residents being evacuated to other cities inside Israel. This constituted a huge burden on the Israeli government, as a result of the damage to the productive and commercial sectors in all regions of the country, such as the fields of entertainment, restaurants, cafes, events, parties, civil aviation, tourism, and industry.

The World Bank has warned that the escalation of the war in Gaza may result in severe damage to the global economy, which is already suffering from a bad situation, and pointed to direct effects on basic commodities, especially oil and food.

The consequences of such wars will be harsh, will fuel a state of uncertainty in global financial markets, and will necessarily require renewing the peace process with the participation of major global actors, to calm the crisis and adhere to peaceful solutions and international legal standards. This must be paralleled by Arab solidarity to activate diplomatic channels to support reaching a permanent solution, work to rebuild the sector and save the economy of the region and the world from possible deterioration as a result of the extension of that conflict.

The Arab Federation for the Digital Economy discusses ways of cooperation with the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry

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Date: 17 - 01 - 2024

Abu Dhabi

The Arab Federation for the Digital Economy, a member of the Executive Office of the Forum of Specific and Specialized Arab Federations at the League of Arab States, held a coordination meeting with the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, to discuss ways of cooperation in the projects implemented by the Federation.

The meeting included discussion of a number of important topics, including: Strengthening cooperation in implementing the initiative to qualify one million Arab entrepreneurs, the Arab digital food market platform, and the training and education platform, for the benefit of the Arab region.

During the meeting, the Arab Federation for the Digital Economy presented an overview of some of the initiatives emanating from the Arab vision for the digital economy, such as the initiative to qualify one million Arab entrepreneurs, the Arab Food Market initiative, and the training and education initiative. Representatives of the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry expressed the importance of the projects that the Federation is working on due to the services they provide. Providing the opportunity to qualify entrepreneurs and small and medium-sized companies through which they can develop their entrepreneurial ideas, as well as enhance food security and enhance the export capabilities of traders and manufacturers of various products, and find administrative and technological solutions for transactions related to export activities.

 

A coordination meeting with the Arab Organization for Communication and Information Technologies

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Date: 17 - 01 - 2024

Abu Dhabi

The Arab Federation for the Digital Economy, member of the Executive Office of the Forum of Specific and Specialized Arab Federations of the League of Arab States, held a coordination meeting with the Arab Organization for Communication and Information Technologies, in the presence of His Excellency Dr. Ali Mohamed Al-Khouri, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Arab Federation for the Digital Economy, His Excellency Engineer / Mohammed bin Omar, Director General of the Arab Organization for Communication and Information Technologies, and representatives of both sides.

The meeting discussed topics related to enhancing cooperation in implementing the Arab Cybersecurity Strategy launched by the Arab Organization for Communication and Information Technologies 2022, which takes into account emerging technologies, including artificial intelligence, and provides recommendations and practical measures necessary to create the right balance between innovation, artificial intelligence, and ethical responsibilities., Whereas, Cybersecurity represents the most important challenges at the strategic level because of its national, regional and international impact, which requires Arab countries to work together and unify their efforts to find comprehensive and joint solutions in a way that guarantees joint success in dealing with cyber risks.

An overview of some of the initiatives emanating from the Arab vision for the digital economy that the Union is implementing was also presented, such as the initiative to qualify one million Arab entrepreneurs, the Arab Food Market initiative, and the training and education initiative. His Excellency Engineer / Mohammed bin Omar, Director General of the Arab Organization for Communication and Information Technologies, expressed the organization’s interest in Cooperating in these projects because of their strategic impact on the Arab region.

The two parties agreed to form a working team to follow up on the implementation of the Arab strategy for cybersecurity and further joint cooperation between the two sides in other Arab projects.