EmTech MENA: Conference on emerging tech trends to kick off in Dubai

Above, Tuka Al-Hanai from the UAE, one of the Innovators Under 35 winners of EmTech 2018. (EmTech MENA)
Updated 03 November 2019

EmTech MENA: Conference on emerging tech trends to kick off in Dubai

  • EmTechMENA to feature 31 prominent regional and international speakers
  • AI and future of work among five main themes to be discussed at event

DUBAI: The second edition of EmTech MENA, a conference dedicated to exploring emerging and future trends in technology, will be held at the Jumeirah Emirates Towers in Dubai on Nov. 4 and 5.

Over 500 professionals from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries and Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region will be attending the tech event, which is being organized by MIT Technology Review Arabia in cooperation with Dubai Future Foundation and Haykal Media.

The conference will feature a list of 31 prominent regional and international speakers including government officials, researchers and entrepreneurs.

With the aim of understanding technological developments that will drive the new global economy, the event will focus on five key themes: artificial intelligence (AI) and the future of work; computer created reality; the future of digital health, future cities; and the future of energy and sustainability.

Speakers from the region will include Noura bint Mohammed Al-Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development in the UAE; Dr. Thani Ahmed Al-Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment in the UAE; Abdulla Bin Touq, Secretary General of the UAE Cabinet; and Sheikha Shamma bint Sultan bin Khalifa Al-Nahyan, Founder and CEO of Alliances for Global Sustainability.

Among the other speakers are Solomon Assefa, Vice President, IBM Research - Africa & Emerging Market Solutions; Emmanuel Fombu, Director, Digital Medicine & Innovation, Johnson & Johnson; Vishal Chatrath CEO & Co-Founder, Prowler.io; Kevin Hu, Co-Founder & CEO, Quantifai; and Ramzi Jaber, Partner, eConstruct.

The conference will also feature a number of speakers from MIT including David Rose, Spatial Computing Expert, MIT School of Architecture; Howard Herzog, Senior Research Engineer, MIT Energy Initiative; Carlo Ratti, Director, MIT Senseable City Lab; and Donald Sadoway, John F. Elliott Professor of Materials Chemistry, MIT.

For its second edition of “Innovators Under 35” MENA, EmTech has selected 20 innovators from the region, who will present a three-minute elevator pitch during the conference.

The innovators – technologists and scientists – will put forward their work in a wide range of fields, notably biomedicine, computing, communications, energy, materials, software, transportation and the internet. The winners will be announced at the end of the conference.

Organized by “MIT Technology Review” since 1999, the “Innovators Under 35” competition has honored such brilliant minds as Google’s Larry Page and Sergey Brin; Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg; Tesla’s JB Straubel; Spotify’s Daniel Ek; and Broad Institute’s Feng Zhang.

The competition’s first edition in 2018 picked 10 winners from UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Algeria, Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan and Syria.

World Bank chief tells China it needs ‘vital’ reforms

Updated 14 min 35 sec ago

World Bank chief tells China it needs ‘vital’ reforms

BEIJING: World Bank chief David Malpass urged China on Thursday to further open up its economy and reduce state subsidies, echoing key demands made by the United States in protracted trade war negotiations.

Malpass made the remarks after a roundtable meeting with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and the heads of other global institutions, including the International Monetary Fund and the World Trade Organization.

“I encouraged new reforms and liberalization,” he said.

Beijing is struggling to kickstart the economy, which expanded at its slowest pace for nearly three decades in the third quarter amid cooling global demand for its exports and a looming debt crisis at home.

Malpass said Beijing must resolve bilateral trade disputes and improve transparency in lending to avoid a sharp downturn on growth over the coming decades.

“China could improve the rule of law, allow the market to play a more decisive role in allocating resources including debt and investment, reduce subsidies for state-owned enterprises... and remove barriers to competition,” he said.

“It is hard to achieve but it is vital for reducing any inequality and building higher living standard,” Malpass said.

State-owned behemoths dominate lucrative sectors of China’s economy — including energy, aviation and telecommunications — where access to private players is restricted.

China’s trade partners have also long complained about the lack of an equal playing field and theft of intellectual property.

The country’s rubber-stamp parliament in March passed a foreign investment law that promises to address these issues, but local governments are still working on detailed rules needed to implement it.

Li said both domestic and foreign companies registered in China will be treated equally.

“They will have equal access to investment opportunities, equitable access to resources, legal protection in accordance with the law,” he said.

Beijing has also announced a timetable to open up its financial sector to foreign investors next year, as it attempts to woo outside capital to shore up an economy battered by the trade war with the United States.

China and the US have slapped tariffs on over $360 billion worth of goods in two-way trade.

Negotiators from both sides have been working toward a partial deal, but US President Donald Trump on Wednesday said Beijing has not made sufficient concessions, making him reluctant to conclude a bargain.

Economic data shows the uncertainty created by the trade spat between the world’s two biggest economies is undermining global growth.

IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva warned that implementing all the announced tariffs would cut $700 billion out of the world economy next year.

“What should be our priorities? First, to move from trade truce to trade peace,” she said.