Digital Innovation vital for Qatar’s future development

 02 Nov 2017 - 1:02

The Peninsula

Ongoing political turmoil in the MENA region could help to stimulate Qatar’s efforts to become a financial technology leader, according to experts gathering for The Euromoney Qatar Conference, set to take place in Doha in December.
The challenges created by the blockade of Qatar are encouraging more companies and government organisations to invest in stronger security and increased digitalisation, which is having a knock-on effect of positioning Qatar as an ideal hub for financial technology services.
Senior government ministers, prominent bankers and CEOs from some of the leading companies of the FinTech world will take part in the conference, whose theme this year is “Digital innovation: the financial future”.
Confirmed keynote speakers include H E Ali Shareef Al Emadi, Minister of Finance of Qatar; H E Sheikh Abdulla bin Saoud Al Thani, Qatar Central Bank; Sarkis Yoghourtdjian, Adviser to the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System; and Ali Ahmed Al Kuwari, Group CEO of Qatar National Bank.
Qatar was ranked as the second-most competitive economy in the MENA region in the recent Global Competitiveness Report by the World Economic Forum (WEF), which cited its investment in digital technologies as the reason for its economic dynamism, as well as an important area for future development.
A special panel discussion will examine the role of technology in financial regulation and the importance of cyber security. It will feature Dr Hessa Al Jaber, former Minister of Information and Communications Technology and now the Chairperson of Trio Investment, and Dr Ahmed Elmagarmid, Executive Director of Qatar Computer Research Institute.
To support the development of the digital economy, the nation has launched the ambitious “Smart Qatar” programme, TASMU, which aims to drive economic diversification and enhance society through the deployment of smart technologies. Qatar currently ranks 27th in the world in the Networked Readiness Index from WEF, excelling in government use of ICT and national ICT skills, where it is placed fifth in the world.
Victoria Behn, Euromoney Conference’s Head of Middle East and Africa, said: “We’re focusing on digital innovation in 2017 because financial technology is having a transformative impact within Qatar, across the region and even globally with the rise of digital currencies and financial applications. By bringing together government leaders, technology pioneers and senior banking executives, The Euromoney Qatar Conference will provide an important platform for tracking the progress made to date and outlining future steps and challenges.”
In addition to this year’s digital innovation focus, The Euromoney Qatar Conference will include panels on capital investment in expensive markets and sessions examining Qatar’s economy and the wider global macro outlook.
The Euromoney Qatar Conference will be held on December 5 and 6, 2017, in Doha.