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Under the patronage of H.E. Eng. Al-Swaha:

Ministry of Communications inaugurates 1st ThinkTech‎ panel discussion

15 Jan 2018
Ministry of Communications inaugurates 1st ThinkTech‎ panel discussion

Under the theme "Blockchain and ctyptocurrencies: Government usage models,” the events of ThinkTech panel discussions were inaugurated yesterday by His Excellency Eng. Abdullah Al-Swaha, Minister of Communications and Information Technology, at the headquarters of the Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC). In a keynote speech, during the opening of the first panel discussion, H.E. Eng. Al-Swaha pointed out the urgent need for a unified and documented global system and record in the cross-border technology surge, indicating that the transition to emerging technologies such as the Blockchain would directly enrich the citizen's life by facilitating, expediting and documenting financial operations, business logistics, asset management, unified medical files, proof of identity, and others.

Al-Swaha also noted that a report released by the World Economic Forum stated that by 2028 the Blockchain technology would enrich an economy of $9 trillion, where the Middle East's share would amount to $500 billion and the Saudi Arabia's share would amount to $250 billion, adding that this is to be achieved by providing innovative and creative solutions for sectors.

From this perspective, he stressed the importance of dealing with these new technologies with an integrated institutional work in a team spirit, since the nature of Blockchain, according to Harvard Business Review, is a “foundational technology,” not a disruptive technology. Thus, it will require legislation, regulation, motivation as well as a new business model that  enriches new economic and social behaviors.

In addition, Al-Swaha launched the Advisory Board of Blockchain Technology affiliated with the National Committee for Digital Transformation in partnership between MCIT and SAMA as a leading partner in the new financial and transactional technologies and the membership of the relevant entities.

Then, the panel discussion kicked off, featuring a number of leaders and professionals in this field, in addition to the co-founder of Ethereum, Mr. Joseph Lubin, who reviewed the expertise of governments in the area of cryptocurrencies and Blockchain. The panel discussion focused on various topics related to the Blockchain Technology, its regulations and the proposed business models. More over, the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology reviewed the national digital strategy as well as the digital transformation models being developed by the National Digitization Unit. In addition, a presentation was delivered by SAMA on the transformation of the financial sector and the proposed uses and systems for the Blockchain Technology and cryptocurrencies. Also, the Ministry of Justice gave a presentation on its transformation, including proposed business models for the Blockchain Technology’s use in asset management.

The discussion focused on the future of the digital economy and the importance of creating agreed international regulations and laws to regulate the traffic of buying, selling and exchanging cryptocurrencies, and the importance of working on  building digital cadres in this field.

This panel discussion is a part of MCIT’s research and intellectual activities in organizing symposiums, workshops and panel discussions with its partners from the public and private sectors to track relevant regional and international developments, raise the technology awareness and promote the concept of effective partnership within the implementation of the digital transformation strategy.

For his part, Dr. Ahmed Al-Thunayan, Deputy Minister for Technology​ Industry and Digital Capacities, expressed his pleasure to inaugurate the first ThinkTech panel discussion. He said that the ministry seeks to create an effective partnership with the public and private sectors to implement the digital transformation strategy, thus enabling Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030.

Al-Thunayan stressed that MCIT would continue to launch new ThinkTech events, valuing the significant role of such panel discussions in enriching the technical discussion. He also pointed out that the purpose of panel discussions is to have an outlook into the latest developments in technology that would accelerate the pace of digital transformation.

MCIT Minister of CIT ThinkTech Vision 2030 digital transformation

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