Leaders from business, government, start-ups, and venture capitalists are meeting in Manama, Bahrain, to understand and positively shape the Fourth Industrial Revolution in the Arab World so that it serves all parts of society. 

Held under the theme “The Arab World in the Fourth Industrial Revolution”, the meeting marks the launch of the next phase of the World Economic Forum’s work on the digital agenda for the Arab world. It is supported by a strong mandate from the Forum’s Regional Business Council on the Middle East and North Africa. The aim is to narrow the gap between the region’s technological potential and the policy agenda required to realize it. Its first phase is focused on exploring innovative approaches that are being tried and tested to harness the benefits of technological advancement in the Arab world. 

“In the context of the rapidly spreading Fourth Industrial Revolution, the engagement of key stakeholders has never been more important than today. Reaping the benefits of new technologies while maintaining trust, requires the collaborative efforts of government, businesses and other actors in society,” said Mirek Dušek, Deputy Head of the Centre for Regional and Geopolitical Affairs of the World Economic Forum.

Recent technological advances have the potential to fundamentally redefine Arab economies. Participants will address necessary policy challenges in three key areas: E-commerce, data flows and new technologies for the Arab World.

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“Just as with business, governments that fail to keep pace with immense technological change risk falling behind. Those that embrace change, adapt to change and anticipate change will emerge winners. This is why in Bahrain we are finding new ways of ensuring the public and private sectors collaborate, as failing to harness all our talents to control the Fourth Industrial Revolution will risk us missing out on the undoubted benefits it can enable,” said Kamal Bin Ahmed Mohammed, Minister of Transportation and Telecommunications of Bahrain.

Khalid Al Rumaihi, Chief Executive Officer of the Bahrain Economic Development Board and current Chair of the Regional Business Council for the Middle East and North Africa added: “Our partnership with the World Economic Forum’s Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution on Cross-Border Data Flow exemplifies Bahrain’s vision and commitment to be at the forefront of technological change, but also to help craft region-wide solutions.” 

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