G20 economic ministers discuss role of digital technologies in enhancing business resilience during extraordinary Digital Economy Ministerial Meeting
Abu Dhabi, 3 May 2020: H.E. Eng. Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansoori, UAE Minister of Economy, participated in the extraordinary G20 Digital Economy Ministerial Meeting, which was attended by economic ministers of all G20 member states. The meeting was held virtually under the presidency of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which is also the host of G20 meetings for the year 2020.
During his participation in the meeting, Al Mansoori said that digital technologies play a major role in accelerating the global response to the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. H.E continued that while the countries of the world are joining forces to deal with the repercussions of the COVID-19 outbreak and address the impact of the pandemic on various development sectors, most importantly public health and economic sectors, the significant role of digital technologies and related policies in driving these efforts have come to the fore.
The meeting discussed the role of digital technologies in enhancing business resilience and preserving jobs, lives and the global economy. In addition to setting options for policies to support the digital transformation of business models during the pandemic period, the development of policies for digital infrastructure, ICT-based innovation, ways to harness digital technologies to serve the society, as well as the role of digital economy in the creation of jobs and spurring economic growth were also discussed.
During the meeting, Al Mansoori explained that the UAE has made great progress in the field of digital transformation and has adopted Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies, especially artificial intelligence, and its applications to drive the growth of the country’s vital sectors.
He added that the country is evaluating the repercussions of the current crisis and ways to transform current risks and challenges into opportunities that support economic growth and the transition to a more flexible and sustainable economic model.
H.E further elaborated on the most important measures taken by the UAE to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 crisis on the business sector and to enable business continuity. The country is capitalizing on its advanced technological and smart infrastructure to ensure business continuity at both governmental and private levels, he said.
Furthermore, the availability of 3,730 federal and local government services online makes the UAE one of the best countries in the world to lead a digital life. In addition, more than 180 smart services are also available in the country to effectively address the needs of society in various aspects of life, said the Minister.
Al Mansoori further explained that the UAE’s readiness in terms of the delivery of smart services has enabled it to avoid interruptions in government operations and collapse of services. This also helped hospitals and medical centres to support the health sector in providing many services and adopting precautionary measures. Besides, a wide range of applications are being used to support remote learning efforts, remote work systems, apart from the development of smart platforms to support the labor market that has been affected by the precautionary measures. This includes a virtual labor market to register employees of affected companies, so that they can be absorbed by other companies based on the needs of the labor market.
Al Mansoori emphasized that the UAE today has a wealth of experience and visions in the field of digital transformation, and is looking forward to exchanging those experiences, resources and knowledge with members of the G20 to enhance joint efforts in facing and overcoming the current crisis.
The agenda of the ministerial meeting focused on a number of main axes such as: developing the telecommunications infrastructure; achieving a secure exchange of data and information; exploring ways to develop digital technologies for the health sector; expanding the uses of digital technologies and solutions; and developing a secure environment via the internet to enhance business flexibility and continuity.