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    ICT, Supply Ministers Open Annual Fourth Conference of Digital Economy and Technology General Division

    Cairo, 23 May 2017

    The Minister of Communications and Information Technology Yasser ElKady and the Minister of Supply and Internal Trade Ali Al-Meslhi inaugurated, today, the Annual Fourth Conference of Digital Economy and Technology General Division— affiliated to the Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce (FEDCOC)—held under the theme ‘’Investing in Egypt's Future - Investing in Information Technology", under the patronage of the ICT Minister.

    The meeting was attended by FEDCOC President Ahmed El-Wakeel, the Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA) CEO Asmaa Hosni and the Head of Digital Economy and Technology General Division Khalil Hassan Khalil, in addition to a number of ICT officials.

    In his speech, ElKady highlighted the challenges facing investment in the ICT industry, particularly in implementing the strategy of digital economy adopted by the sector, including, for the first time, the implementation of financial inclusion.

    He ascertained that the Ministry Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) has a vision and serious plans for implementing financial inclusion. MCIT supports this concept through developing the Egyptian post offices, providing Fourth generation (4G) mobile services, improving the technological infrastructure throughout the country and implanting technology through the establishment of technology parks.

    This is in addition to modernizing a number of government services to serve citizens in sectors of health care, supply and internal trade, as well as establishing accurate databases that will support decision-makers, providing training for calibers and also raising awareness of the elements of financial inclusion.

    ElKady also referred to the volume of work and investment opportunities in the coming period. He focused on the electronics manufacturing sector, in which Egypt has taken promising steps, especially after the economic reform measures— such as exchange rate liberalization— and the sector’s initiatives such as preparing professional calibers through ITIDA programs and offering incentives for investment in technology parks, including customs and tax deduction.

    The ICT Minister stated that the state is willing to make all the new cities that will be established nationwide smart ones, announcing the establishment of two new technology parks in Sadat and Beni Suef cities. The sector has proved, during the previous period, that it is one of the most key pillars of economic and social development. He concluded his speech by saying that the sector works through a partnership between stakeholders and those interested in the development of industry, hailing the relationship between MCIT and civil society and referring to the Digital Economy Division as a key pillar of this partnership.

    For his part, El-Wakeel said that the ICT sector is a major driver of development that supports all economic aspects, underscoring the significance of major companies’ support for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). He pointed out that the financial inclusion and technology implanting are FEDCOC main work areas.

    Hosny said that Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), especially the Digital Economy and Technology General Division, are among the main arms of the sector in the governorates and a catalyst for the growth of the ICT sector.
    In his speech, Khalil, also, called for concerted efforts of all parties to promote the IT industry in Egypt and strengthen Egypt’s position at the international level.

    The six-day Conference will discuss a number of key topics, most important of which are the opportunities and challenges facing investment in the ICT industry; the “Tawteen” initiative launched by the Division to open effective channels of cooperation between international companies, major local companies and SMEs across the country. This in addition to discussing means to qualify SMEs to develop new products based on modern technologies through specially designed development programs.

    Moreover, the Conference discusses also the significance of assisting, administratively and technically, SMEs to play a more professional role in the fields of distribution, maintenance, technical support and internal and external outsourcing, as well as implementing projects and developing products and services, in partnership with ITIDA.

    The third session will focus on maximizing the benefit of the participatory economics through the participation of Uber in the conference, followed by a session on new technological trends and how to employ them to increase the competitiveness of Egyptian companies and increase the exports of the Egyptian technological products. Another session will also discuss the issue of how to activate the system of financial inclusion and electronic payment.

    The conference concludes its dialogue sessions by analyzing the mechanisms of investment and financial education for ICT companies, discussing mechanisms and means of investing in companies and how to raise the readiness of investment for technology companies.

    The two ministers also visited the exhibition— held on the sidelines of the conference— which presented a number of innovative ideas, created by a number of startups in various fields of technology such as: Internet of Things (IoT), smart energy, health technology, education, smart cities and other advanced fields.

    The workshop was attended by a group of experts, companies and innovators, which discussed how to transform the creative ideas of young people and companies into products of key importance to the national economy, as well as the mechanisms of developing successful business models as one of the key challenges facing startups and small enterprises to strongly enter the markets and achieve profitability and growth.

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