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High-level committee to develop a roadmap for digital transformation

The Business Year, KDIPA hold conference titled 'Towards a Digital Economy'

By Majd Othman

KUWAIT: Minister of Commerce and Industry Mazin Al-Nahedh said that the ministry is about to form a high-level committee with the inclusion of ministers and all relevant government agencies to build a national roadmap for overseeing the digital transformation of the country and unifying all projects under a comprehensive master system.

Nahedh said in his speech during the opening of the “Towards a Digital Economy” conference on Wednesday, organized by The Business Year (TBY) in partnership with the Kuwait Direct Investment Promotion Authority (KDIPA), that the ministry is currently working on developing secure and effective cloud computing to enable institutions to use it in an integrated manner and maximize its benefit in providing expansion and flexibility through appropriate governance and in line with procedures and policies that are currently under review by the Public Information Authority.

“Those who follow the global scene, and given the rapid progress of digital transformation, will fully realize the importance of digital transformation and its direct impact on the economy and the development of the country. We in the ministry and under the directives of the political leadership and the Council of Ministers will continue to work with our strategic partners in the field of technology to advance digital transformation through public institutions in Kuwait to achieve the New Kuwait Vision 2035 and transform the country into a regional and international financial and commercial center,” he said.

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated and strengthened the cooperation between the public and private sectors through putting more focus on adopting promising smart technologies and signing strategic partnership with technology giants such as Google, Amazon, Microsoft and Huawei to further accelerate digital transformation and improve the quality of services for citizens and residents, he said.

“In addition to the business sector that witnessed successful examples that include the unified government apps “Sahel” and “Sahel Business” as well as “Kuwait Mobile ID” and “Meta App”, the ministry is actively working to make government services more efficient, transparent and available to the public through digital transformation. This includes the implementation of e-government services and the use of digital technologies to simplify administrative processes,” Nahedh explained.

KUWAIT: (From second left), Sheikh Ahmad Al-Duaij Al-Sabah, Abdulla Al-Senan, Ali Al-Fulaij during a panel discussion.

Diversify the economy

Nahedh clarified during his speech that the ministry is working to support and diversify the Kuwait economy by promoting the growth of new industries and technologies such as big data, software development, artificial intelligence, robotics and virtual reality. The ministry is creating a stimulating environment for innovation by promoting research and development, encouraging cooperation between academia and industry and supporting emerging startups and small companies, he said.

He added, “There is no doubt that cloud computing and cybersecurity have become important aspects of the safety of transactions and the sovereignty of the country. In this regard, the ministry is working, in cooperation with the concerned authorities to raise the level of awareness of cybersecurity.”

Acting CEO of Kuwait Finance House (KFH) Group Abdul Wahab Al-Rushood, said that KFH is one of the first institutions to adopt digital transformation in its business and operations. Rushood explained that in line with New Kuwait Vision 2035, the country is focusing on diversifying its economy by adopting digital transformation to modernize its services and improve the quality of life, while increasing operational efficiency and the performance of key sectors.

He added that Kuwait enjoys high levels of accumulated financial and foreign assets and has significant competitive advantages to be a global center for trade and investment. Likewise, Kuwaiti banks are keen to invest in digital banking services, financial technology and digital transformation.

The attendees at the conference.

Kuwait Banking Association Chairman Sheikh Ahmad Al-Duaij Al-Sabah said the sought-after digital transformation has become a reality, especially since the new generation is using modern technologies in all areas of life. “Technology has become essential in their way of life, which means that the modern generation is raised on and educated in digitization.”

Insurance Regulatory Unit (IRU) Vice President Abdulla Al-Senan said that the unit has launched its first four-year strategy (2023-2027) with a four-point plan to strengthen the digital transformation system for services provided in the sector.

Speaking about the potential challenges of digital transformation in the investment sector, Rasameel Investment Company COO Ali Al-Fulaij said they include hurdles in facilitating operations and procedures as well as allowing customers or investors to make decisions quickly and implement them directly. But these challenges, he said, also represent an opportunity for investors to access information and make appropriate financial decisions based on available data, which will be beneficial for investors as well as the industry.

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