‘UN Group of Friends for Digital Cooperation’ launched to promote sustainability and inclusivity

‘UN Group of Friends for Digital Cooperation’ launched to promote sustainability and inclusivity
“The UN Group of Friends for Digital Cooperation” formed the group to facilitate international digital cooperation and advocate sustainable growth of the electronic economy, promoting prosperity and social inclusion globally. Shutterstock
Short Url
Updated 24 September 2023
Follow

‘UN Group of Friends for Digital Cooperation’ launched to promote sustainability and inclusivity

‘UN Group of Friends for Digital Cooperation’ launched to promote sustainability and inclusivity

RIYADH: The “UN Group of Friends for Digital Cooperation” was launched at the UN headquarters in New York by five member states of the Digital Cooperation Organization — Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Cyprus, Pakistan and Rwanda, according to the Saudi Press Agency.

The SPA said the DCO formed the group to facilitate international digital cooperation and advocate sustainable growth of the electronic economy, promoting prosperity and social inclusion globally.

This initiative was introduced on the sidelines of the 78th UN Annual General Assembly meeting. 

The group underscored the profound impact of digital technologies on societies over the past two decades, connecting billions of individuals, governments and businesses. It will actively support collective efforts to enhance the digital economy.

The DCO, headquartered in Riyadh, strongly supports this initiative and its member states’ active participation.

Dima Al-Yahya, secretary-general of the DCO, said: “The establishment of the UN Group of Friends for Digital Cooperation by the Digital Cooperation Organization is an initiative aimed at contributing to realigning the UN’s sustainable development goals for 2030 through international multi-stakeholder collaboration and action.”

She added: “We are pleased that the Republic of Cyprus has joined the Group of Friends for Digital Cooperation.”

Thessalia Shambou, commissioner at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Cyprus and an observer at the UN, emphasized that the DCO will play a pivotal role in uniting member states to leverage the potential of cooperation and expedite the achievement of SDGs.

The group’s launch reaffirms the commitment of the DCO and its member states to foster a sustainable and more inclusive digital economy, aligning with Saudi Vision 2030’s objectives to drive economic diversification, nurture innovation and entrepreneurship, and empower youth and women in the digital sphere.

The DCO, established in November 2020, is the world’s first standalone international intergovernmental organization dedicated to accelerating the growth of an inclusive and sustainable digital economy.

This global multilateral organization brings together the ministries of communications and information technology of its member states, focusing on empowering youth, women and entrepreneurs.


Investors to explore Saudi ‘food basket’ through Jazan Investment Forum 2023 

Investors to explore Saudi ‘food basket’ through Jazan Investment Forum 2023 
Updated 10 sec ago
Follow

Investors to explore Saudi ‘food basket’ through Jazan Investment Forum 2023 

Investors to explore Saudi ‘food basket’ through Jazan Investment Forum 2023 

RIYADH: Global investors will get a chance to explore Jazan’s economic opportunities through Saudi Arabia’s southwestern region’s investment forum, which is scheduled to kick off on Nov. 28. 

The Jazan Investment Forum 2023, held under the patronage of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, aims to introduce economic advantages in the logistics and agriculture sectors.

In addition, the event will shed light on the environmental and climatic diversity of the region, particularly Farasan Island, according to the Saudi Press Agency.

It added that visitors will have the opportunity to delve into Jazan's rich heritage, explore monuments dating back to 8000 BC, and learn more about the region's importance as an agricultural site with diverse crops. 

Gov. of Jazan Prince Mohammed bin Nasser bin Abdulaziz, extended his deepest gratitude to the crown prince for patronizing the forum, which will be organized by the Jazan Chamber in cooperation with the region’s governing department and the Jazan Region Development Strategic Office, along with several relevant government and private agencies. 

The governor emphasized that the forum aims to serve as a platform for attracting direct and high-quality investments to the Jazan region, adding that it will act as a gateway to engage with relevant authorities to enhance the working environment and foster strategic investment partnerships for comprehensive growth and sustainable development in the region.


Saudi Arabia enhances digital economy with National Data Index

Saudi Arabia enhances digital economy with National Data Index
Updated 9 min 26 sec ago
Follow

Saudi Arabia enhances digital economy with National Data Index

Saudi Arabia enhances digital economy with National Data Index

RIYADH: The digital economy infrastructure in Saudi Arabia is set to receive a boost with the launch of open data programs, including the introduction of the National Data Index, also known as Nudei, during the Saudi Data Forum in Riyadh.  

The event also saw the launch of upgraded versions of the Open Data Platform and the Data Governance Platform.  

This initiative, a first for the Kingdom, aims to promote transparency, create a national data-based economy, and contribute to the assessment of data maturity in government entities, aligning with Vision 2030. 

Organized by the Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority and the National Transformation Program, the launch was attended by global and local experts. Participants included Assistant Minister of Interior for Technology Affairs Prince Bandar Bin Abdullah, SDAIA President Abdullah Al-Ghamdi, ministers, senior officials, and representatives from local and international companies. 

The National Data Index, a collaboration between SDAIA and NTP, is a dynamic results-based indicator for follow-up and evaluation. It aims to assess and track the progress of government agencies in data management, compliance, and operational indicators across 14 areas. 

The indicator establishes a robust data governance framework and policies to control data management practices, measure data management maturity and ensure compliance, improve the effectiveness of data management operational processes, and develop compliance and investigation-reporting mechanisms. 

An upgraded version of the Open Data Platform was also released, allowing individuals, government, and non-government agencies to publish their open data for entrepreneurs and other beneficiaries.  

The platform has achieved over 7,000 open data sets, 190 publishers, and 35 use cases. 

Additionally, the Data Governance Platform aims to register entities covered by the Personal Data Protection Law, providing support and advice on preserving the privacy of personal data holders and protecting their rights.  

Government agencies can benefit from the platform through a process that involves filling out the registration form, logging in through the national unified access platform, completing the entity’s profile, and submitting data for evaluation.  

It also provides services, including notification about possible data leaks, privacy impact assessment, legal support, and a self-assessment tool for compliance with the Personal Data Protection Law. 

SDAIA and NTP signed a memorandum of understanding in 2022 to launch new strategic partnerships and smart business solutions that support the strategic objectives of Vision 2030 assigned to NTP, including SDAIA’s initiatives related to data and artificial intelligence. 


NEOM inks multiple MoUs to accelerate clean industrial transformation  

NEOM inks multiple MoUs to accelerate clean industrial transformation  
Updated 13 min 34 sec ago
Follow

NEOM inks multiple MoUs to accelerate clean industrial transformation  

NEOM inks multiple MoUs to accelerate clean industrial transformation  

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s sustainable energy push in NEOM is expected to get a further boost as the Kingdom’s $500-billion megacity has signed deals with Bosch and Bain & Co. to accelerate clean industrial transformation in Oxagon.  

Oxagon is the industrial city in NEOM, which will operate with 100 percent renewable energy. The Kingdom also aims to turn this destination to a tourist hub, aligned with the goals outlined in Vision 2030.  

In a post on X, Oxagon revealed that these memorandums of understanding with Bosch and Bain & Co. will help Oxagon “harness the expertise of each organization to shape the future of manufacturing through investments in innovation, technology and talent development.” 

Vishal Wanchoo, CEO of Oxagon, commented: “Bain and Bosch share our vision to transform the existing industrial model. The collaboration aims to accelerate our ambition to enable factories of the future to build products of the future in NEOM and beyond.” 

Developing giga-projects like NEOM is very crucial for Saudi Arabia as the Kingdom, which is on a path of economic diversification, is trying to emerge as a global tourism destination by the end of this decade.  

Through its National Tourism Strategy, Saudi Arabia aims to attract 100 million tourists in the Kingdom by the end of this decade.  

Earlier in October, NEOM released a short video and revealed that construction of a hospital, utilities and a number of roads has been completed within the city. 

The video, which demonstrates the progress of developmental works of the city, noted that more than 3,000 people from 90 countries are working on the giga-project, and over 60,000 construction workers are on-site.  

In the same month, NEOM also received the first major delivery of wind turbines for the world’s largest green hydrogen plant which is currently in development in the city.  

NEOM Green Hydrogen Co., which is developing this project, said that the wind turbines were delivered at the Port of NEOM in Oxagon.  

After the delivery, Wanchoo said that the arrival of wind turbines for the green hydrogen project is a major milestone for the port in Oxagon, as it continues to expand its operational capabilities. 


Global Islamic banking sector set to reach $4tn by 2026 thanks to GCC: report 

Global Islamic banking sector set to reach $4tn by 2026 thanks to GCC: report 
Updated 28 November 2023
Follow

Global Islamic banking sector set to reach $4tn by 2026 thanks to GCC: report 

Global Islamic banking sector set to reach $4tn by 2026 thanks to GCC: report 

RIYADH: The global Islamic banking sector is set to be worth $4 trillion by 2026, driven primarily by Gulf Cooperation Council countries, according to recent data. 

In their State of Fintech report, red_mad_robot, a digital enabler, highlighted that the Islamic banking sector saw a massive surge from 2018 to 2021, growing from $1.8 trillion to $2.8 trillion. 

“The leading role in the development of Islamic banking belongs to the GCC countries. They account for 43 percent of global Islamic banking assets, followed by other countries in the Middle East and North Africa region at 40 percent. Meanwhile, 59 percent of total assets are controlled by just two jurisdictions — Iran, 37 percent, and Saudi Arabia, 22 percent,” the report stated. 


Abu Dhabi’s financial sector set to grow 13% in 2023, says senior official 

Abu Dhabi’s financial sector set to grow 13% in 2023, says senior official 
Updated 28 November 2023
Follow

Abu Dhabi’s financial sector set to grow 13% in 2023, says senior official 

Abu Dhabi’s financial sector set to grow 13% in 2023, says senior official 

RIYADH: Abu Dhabi is on track for a 13 percent growth in its financial sector in 2023 as part of its intensified efforts to diversify its economy beyond oil, a senior official reported. 

The forecast was announced during the Abu Dhabi Finance Week by Ahmed Al-Zaabi, chairman of the emirate’s Department of Economic Development, who emphasized the division’s importance on the local economy. 

“This year, our non-oil sector showed a robust increase, growing by an impressive 12 percent in the second quarter. Non-oil sectors now comprise nearly 54 percent of our total gross domestic product,” Al-Zaabi said, according to a report by the Emirates News Agency, known as WAM.

“Additionally, our non-oil foreign merchandise trade has expanded by 13 percent by the end of the third quarter this year. Such figures stand as a testament to our nation’s dynamic economic growth and diversified strength,” he added. 

Al-Zaabi further emphasized the importance of responsible utilization of wealth for the nation’s betterment, recalling the words of the UAE’s founding father, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al-Nahyan.

“Wealth is not in money, wealth lies in mankind. This is where true power lies, the power we value,” Al-Zaabi said.

“We are delivering our promise. Today, Abu Dhabi’s Falcon Economy is accelerating our ambitions by exploring untapped potential, soaring to new heights of success. Our vision extends to the next phase of economic diversification and remarkable growth,” he added. 

Additionally, he acknowledged the economic challenges of the recent years, stating that they “have not been easy.” 

He highlighted Abu Dhabi’s resilience and adaptability, adding: “Economic winds have shifted, and the sands beneath us have been unsteady. But like the dunes of our magnificent desert, we too adapt and reshape ourselves.” 

Al-Zaabi also underscored Abu Dhabi’s dedication to renewable energy, framing it as more than a market strategy but a commitment to preserving the land for future generations. 

With entrepreneurship one of the main pillars of the UAE’s economy, Al-Zaabi further emphasized the importance of boosting the startup ecosystem. 

“Let us continue to nurture the spirit of entrepreneurship. We must foster an ecosystem where young entrepreneurs can dive deep and emerge with pearls of innovation,” he stated.