Digital Economy Conference to launch in partnership with Seamless Middle East 2017 in Dubai this May

03 April, 2017


Under the patronage of Lieutenant General His Highness Sheikh Saif Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, the Council of Arab Economic Unity and the League of Arab States is organizing the first Digital Economy Conference in partnership with Seamless Middle East 2017, taking place on 1-2 May, at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.

The conference will host international organizations and high profile official spokespeople from several Arab states with a view to exchange experiences, expertise and review best practices in the industry.

As the largest e-commerce event in the region, the conference will welcome 150 international specialists to discuss best practices in e-commerce, the industry's current and future trends, implementing and maintaining international standards and recommendations on laws fighting cyber crimes. The conference aims to promote and support e-commerce in the Arab world to keep the modern Arab economy at pace with the progress of the international digital economy. This emphasizes its commitment to supporting Arab economies to stay up to date with international developments, cultivating inter-Arab e-commerce, and further growing both the public and private sectors.

"The Council of the Arab Economy Unity is dedicated to support the digital economy and is keen to introduce a legal framework to encourage the development of innovative applications," commented His Excellency Mohammed Mohammed Al-Rabie, Secretary General of the Council of Arab Economic Unity. "It also enables secure and reliable e-commerce solutions amongst the Arab countries, in line with international standards." Al-Rabie continued, "Based on this reality and responsibility, the Council of Arab Economic Unity launched the Arab Federation for e-Commerce (AFEC). This pioneering initiative will encourage Arab countries to follow global trends and stimulate growth in an organized and integrated manner to capture a fair share of the global digital industry. Our current share of the e-commerce market, despite the existence of some successful initiatives, only represents one percent of the global e-commerce market. As Arabs make up over five percent of the world's population, we can grow our e-commerce trading at five times the rate of its current growth. The AFEC will enable us to reach our full potential in this promising sector, contributing further to our economic growth."

E-commerce is rising steadily and rapidly across the Arab region, and the Arab Federation for e-Ccommerce will play a central role to support and advise both the public and private sectors in the Arab states to ensure continuous growth and further development.

His Excellency Dr. Eng. Ali Al Khouri, First Deputy Chairman of the Arab Federation for e-Commerce, and Chairman for the Supreme Committee organizing the Digital Economy Conference commented, "Organising this conference in the UAE, under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Saif Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, elevates the UAE's position on e-Commerce. With its existing economic and technical resources, digital infrastructure, laws, legislation and intellectual property rights, the UAE is able to create opportunities that will have an impact across the Arab World."

AEFC aims at tackling the challenges faced by the e-commerce sector in the Arab region, including those related to infrastructure and technology, setting the general regulatory frameworks to provide both protection and security for commercial transactions. Developing laws related to digital signature is also a key objective, to advance and promote the standing of the Arab e-markets; e.g. smart applications, e-payment platforms etc.

Joseph Ridley, General Manager at Terrapinn, the official organizer of Seamless Middle East 2017, said, "We are very excited about this partnership with the Council of Arab Economic Unity and the Arab Federation for E-commerce. This reaffirms the importance and value of Seamless, and will help strengthen and highlight the status of the event and the important role e-commerce plays in developing the region's economy and well-being of its people."

The Council of Arab Economic Unity was established in 1957 to organize and strengthen economic relations between Arab states. It strives to realize the best conditions for the development of Arab economies, and increase freedom of trade by developing closer integration and creating a pan-Arab economic unity.

The main purpose of the Federation is being an influential partner in building a prosperous and sustainable digital economies in the Arab world as well as paving to way forward towards digital Arab society that could entertain the use of smart and distinguished services.

The establishment of the Arab Federation for Ecommerce was initiated by the council with the aim of becoming an effective partner in building a sustainable and prosperous economy in the Arab World. It also works on building a digital Arab society with the best smart services.

The Union aims to tackle the various challenges that ecommerce faces in the Arab region, including the infrastructure and technology necessary to trigger ecommerce and set up general legal frameworks. Such frameworks provide protection, security and safety for commercial online transactions. They also aim to contribute to the development of international standards and legislations to tackle cyber crimes and initiate digital signature laws suitable for the modern age. Additionally, they offer consultations to ensure the promotion and progress of Arab ecommerce markets, such as smart applications and online payment platforms, among others.

© Press Release 2017