Mr. Ahmed Aboul Gheit, Secretary-General of the League of Arab States, took part in the opening of the digital economy conference and exhibition, "Seamless Middle East 2023," held under the patronage of Lieutenant General H.H. Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior of the United Arab Emirates.
Counsellor Gamal Roshdy, the official spokesman for the Secretary-General, said that in his address, Mr. Aboul Gheit underscored the inextricable link between Arab national security and development efforts, with a view to preserving the Arab structure and fostering integration among its various components.
Mr. Aboul Gheit noted that the notion of development had undergone a revolutionary transformation in recent decades, transitioning from conventional models to more sustainable paradigms. He also highlighted the interdependence between development, digital technology, and climate action.
The spokesman added that Mr. Aboul Gheit had emphasised the pivotal role of the internet and technology in driving the prosperity of services and innovation, facilitating the widespread adoption of e-commerce, and supporting international endeavours to tackle the environmental challenges posed by climate change. These themes were also central to the discussions at the COP27 climate summit held in Sharm El-Sheikh last year, and they will feature prominently in the upcoming climate summit to be hosted by Dubai later this year.
Roshdy noted that the digital economy in the Arab world has not yet fully realised its potential, despite the vast capabilities and opportunities available. The Arab world has immense potential to boost the share of the digital economy in GDP, as highlighted in the World Bank report released last year, which projected that full digitisation of the Arab economy could raise per capita GDP by at least 4.6 percent over the next 30 years.
Mr. Aboul Gheit also highlighted the significant efforts undertaken by Arab countries to advance the digital economy, including the adoption of the Arab Vision for Digital Economy initiative, which was presented by the United Arab Emirates at the Arab Summit in Algeria, and the endorsement of the Arab Digital Agenda at the Jeddah Summit held last week.
The Secretary-General of the League of Arab States commended the Arab Union for the Digital Economy for its role in updating the Arab Vision for the digital economy, ensuring that it remains in step with the changes and developments that have taken place in the global and regional technological landscape, while also maintaining the necessary flexibility and adaptability to meet the evolving needs of Arab national economies. He emphasised the importance of integrating innovative ideas into the Arab business environment, thus ensuring the continued growth and expansion of the digital economy in the region.