Unified digital economy strategy to raise Arab world GDP to $5 trillion – adviser

The Arab digital economy strategy, launched in Abu Dhabi on Sunday, aims to double the Arab world’s GDP from $2.6 trillion to around $5 trillion within 10 years, a key digital adviser said on Monday.

 

All 22 Arab league members will gather in Tunisia next March to finalise the new strategy, said Ali El-Khoury, head of Arab Federation for the Digital Economy and Council of Arab Economic Unity (CAEU) adviser.

Speaking at the First Arab Digital Economy Conference in Abu Dhabi, El-Khoury said the strategy also seeks to lift the digital contribution to the Arab world’s GDP to an average of 20 percent.

Arab digitalisation will contribute to increasing productivity, enhancing quality of life, facilitating job creation, and accelerating growth, El-Khoury added.

According to figures by the United Nations, the Arab League trails behind Europe, Asia, and the Americas in terms of its e-government development index, which is a composite indicator that consists of three metrics: online services, telecommunications, and human capital.

“E-government penetration in the Middle East is very low at 6 per cent,” said Egypt’s former Communication Minister Atef Helmy.

“Preparing people for digital transformation at the institutional level is very important. There needs to be lot of training and development and [still] many institutions are using conventional techniques,” said Tarek Amer, governor of the Egyptian central bank, on Sunday.