Securing global supply chains key to growing digital economy, UAE minister says

The Emirates seeks to boost global efforts in advancing a robust infrastructure, Omar Al Olama says

The UAE seeks to integrate global efforts in advancing a robust digital infrastructure and fostering digital skills, Omar Al Olama, Minister of State for AI, Digital Economy and Remote Work Applications, said at the G20 in India. Photo: UAE Ministry of Cabinet Affairs
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Securing global supply chains are essential to enhance the digital economy globally and collaborative efforts are required to ensure this happens, according to a senior UAE official.

Speaking at the G20 digital economy ministerial meeting in India, Omar Al Olama, Minister of State for AI, Digital Economy and Remote Work Applications, also highlighted the necessity to innovate and adopt specific mechanisms, especially for small and medium enterprises, to improve flexibility in the digital economy.

“Such efforts represent a global responsibility that requires international co-operation,” he said at the meeting, which included participation from global leaders.

The digital economy is expanding globally with the development of new technology, including artificial intelligence and its broader use in different sectors.

Last year, the UAE announced its Digital Economy Strategy to increase the sector's contribution to the gross domestic product by 20 per cent over the next 10 years, up from 9.7 per cent in 2022, as it seeks to leverage cutting-edge technologies and attract high-skilled talent.

The UAE, the Arab world’s second-largest economy, aims to grow its digital economy to well over $140 billion in 2031, up from about $38 billion currently, the Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy said in a report in February.

Digital infrastructure plays a pivotal role in societal progress and economic growth and is a critical element in the developmental journey, Mr Al Olama said.

“This involves formulating clear strategies and plans to ensure a thriving digital economy, encompassing the UAE's initiatives such as the National Strategy for the Digital Economy that aims to double the contribution of the digital economy to the non-oil GDP by 2031.”

“It also aligns with the goal to achieve the global leadership in mobile internet speed and leveraging technological advancements, including artificial intelligence, in government services as enablers of the robust digital infrastructure,” he said.

Mr Al Olama also highlighted the UAE's success in supporting digital skills through the Artificial Intelligence Programme, which has graduated more than 400 government officials and trained more than 30,000 people through initiatives like the National Programme for Artificial Intelligence, the National Programme for Coders and the One Million Arab Coder Initiative.

The UAE's digital education initiatives have also extended to seven countries, benefiting more than 40,000 students, he added.

Updated: August 29, 2023, 11:50 AM