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Qatar set to strengthen economic digitisation efforts

The State of Qatar’s efforts to digitise its economy and provide more services online is opening a huge range of opportunities for citizens, businesses and the wider region, according to experts set to attend the upcoming Euromoney Qatar Conference 2016.

The event, which will be held from 6th to 7th December, will feature a special panel that will look at the steps taken to digitise the economy, and examine the necessary strategic priorities, including infrastructure investment and regulatory change.

Qatar has announced a multi-government agency initiative to digitise services and build a strong network foundation as part of the plans to promote the knowledge-based economy in support of the Qatar National Vision 2030.

The push for digital has seen the majority of government services be made available online, as well as the launch of dedicated programmes to tackle social issues, such as electronic payments for workers, which has ensured that 85 percent of Qatar’s 2.1 million workers are now paid by bank transfer.

Most recently, the Ministry of Transport and Communications (MoTC) has announced plans to expand “digital culture” across the community and achieve 100 percent digital comprehensiveness for all demographic segments, including temporary workers, the elderly, and people with disabilities, to raise awareness of the benefits of ICT.

Next steps under consideration include measures to encourage more businesses to move their service offerings online, particularly small and medium businesses. A recent report by Trading Economics suggests that digitising Qatar’s economy could result in GDP growth of 3.4 percent – or QAR 38.2 billion – by 2020.

The panel discussion will feature speakers from Qatar Central Bank, SAP, Vodafone Qatar and PayFort, the panel discussion will pay particular attention to the potential impact of digitalisation on the financial sector.

Laurence Leyden, General Manager, Financial Services, EMEA, SAP, said, “The move towards digitalisation in Qatar, led by government ministries and the leadership of Qatar, has already delivered significant results for the people and for the economy. The next stage, which will see large-scale digitalisation of business services, should provide significant stimulus for diversifying the economy, offering new employment opportunities and boosting innovation across Qatar.”

Held under the patronage of H.E. Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani, Prime Minister of State of Qatar, and co-hosted with the Qatar Central Bank, the Euromoney Qatar Conference will include major keynote presentations by a number of national and global leaders, including H.E. Mr Ali Shareef Al Emadi, Minister of Finance, State of Qatar; Murat Çetinkaya, Governor, Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey; George Magnus, Economist and Author; and Hafez Ghanem, Vice President, Middle East and North Africa, The World Bank.

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