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Perspectives of Digital Economy in the Arab Region

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The study aimed to raise awareness on the Digital Economy in the Arab region and its contribution to Sustainable Development. Digital Economy is a concept characterizing a situation where pervasive use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in all social and economic endeavors leading to expanded opportunities, economic growth and improved public service delivery. Digital Economy plays an important role in the advent of ‘Smart Societies’ empowering all actors, public authorities, government, businesses, and citizens, particularly youth, and women to take optimal and informed decisions and reduce inequalities. Digital Economy revolution is no less important than former industrial revolutions related with the advent of steam power, combustion engines or electricity. 

The Arab region cannot stay away from this Digital Economy revolution and should leverage the benefits it might bring and address the risks it involves. Arab countries with their large human potential, educated youth, rich financial resources, and central geographic position should leverage the assets offered by Digital Economy to transform their economies and societies. Essentially because Digital Economy is transforming the globalized world and economy by affecting global value chains, and countries should strive to maintain or improve their global position. 

The main objective of this publication is to create awareness about Digital Economy and help policymakers and other stakeholders in the Arab region in identifying priority areas in the Digital Economy and developing national digital agendas to enhance their transformation into Digital Economy, which could also help addressing many socioeconomic problems and contribute to the fulfillment of UN Sustainable Development Goals. A properly well-thought and inclusive Digital Economy agenda for the region would be a major tool to guide the Arab countries in this field and put them on the track of an inclusive and sustainable economic growth. This document addresses many issues that might assist in the building-up of such successful agendas.