In a speech at the opening of (QITCOM 2017)

Monday, March 6, 2017
In a speech at the opening of (QITCOM 2017)

HE the Minister of Transport and Communications speech in the QITCOM2017 

His Excellency Sheikh Abdullah Bin Nasser Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Prime Minister and Minister of Interior

Your Highnesses

Your Excellencies ,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Dear Esteemed Guests.

Good evening to you all.

First, I would like to extend my sincere thanks and gratitude to His Excellency Sheikh Abdullah Bin Nasser Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Prime Minister and Minister of Interior for granting us the honour of attending here today.

Thank you for the powerful speech that asserted clearly that the State of Qatar is committed to the development of a dynamic and active sector of Communication and Information Technology, as well as an improved digital economy, which is the underlying theme of this conference ‘Qatar – Towards a Smart Future’.

Ladies and gentlemen, dear esteemed guests,

It is my delight to welcome you all to the opening of the fourth annual QITCOM Exhibition and Conference (QITCOM 2017) which, thanks to the efforts of all parties involved, brings together a large and diverse ecosystem of stakeholders involved in the sector of information and communication technology.

It is a great pleasure to see this wonderful crowd of guests, my colleagues the ministers, groups from the world's leading companies, prominent figures from the business community, researchers and innovators, all of whom are here today at this unique event. Your support is highly appreciated.

The QITCOM conference and exhibition reflects the State of Qatar’s commitment to reach the highest ranks among leading digital economies. Over the next three days, you will have access to examples of advanced technology that we seek to develop and invest in. They will be launched in Qatar to support the National Vision 2030. This also reflects our commitment to developing a world-class platform for communications and information technology under which innovations, smart solutions and advanced services will flourish.

Ladies and gentlemen, dear guests,

With the support of our partners in the private sector, Qatar has made significant progress in its endeavour to build a knowledge-based digital economy.

Today, we have one the most secure and advanced infrastructures for communication and information technology.

With the wide availability of broadband networks, high-speed advanced data centres, and cloud computing services, existing Qatari companies, SMEs and start-ups have the essential elements for advancement, access to world markets and the development of innovative services.

Qatar has invested heavily to ensure the highest standards of security for the entire basic framework. In the area of IT, we have a strong cyber-security infrastructure and this is an important achievement in the face of rising threats on the Internet.

Currently, we offer widespread and advanced e-government services to all residents of Qatar with more than 1,600 e-government services now available online. The United Nations has praised the State of Qatar and has classified it as one of the top 10 e-governments among all Asian nations. This was highlighted in a survey report by the United Nations’ Executive Committee of Economic and Social Affairs covering the development of e-governments for 2016.

In line with our anticipated goals of a digital government in Qatar, we strive to provide all government services on the Internet by 2020. This will enable a more intelligent government connected to the Internet to help people access governmental services and agencies at any time and from any location.

Ladies and gentlemen,

As part of the efforts to achieve these goals and build a digital capacity for our human resources to contribute to the digital transformation of the country, we train our national cadres working in the field of communication and information technology. This takes place through the Qatar government digital training programme, which provides specialised and certified training in the field of e-government.

We are striving as well to support the development of e-business, not only in Qatar, but throughout the entire region. For this, we are in direct contact with officials, companies and payment services providers to collaborate on enforcing rules and procedures that facilitate the efficient working of business and thus ensure rapid growth in the sector. We are also supporting the development of Qatar’s postal sector in general to guarantee access to the fastest and most competitive postal services. Moreover, supporting emerging companies both inside and outside the e-business world is our aim.

In addition to all these challenges, a series of additional projects is on our agenda for the coming years.

Ladies and gentleman,

At the Ministry of Transport and Communications we believe that a bright future is ahead of us. And in line with what his Excellency the Prime Minister of Qatar has already outlined, we reiterate that Qatar is strongly engaged in developing a vital information and communication technology sector to build the smart future we all want.

The “Qatar Smart Nation” project “Tasmu” that has just been announced by his Excellency the Prime Minister, will form the cornerstone of our efforts to realise our aims.

Our ministry has identified more than 100 smart technological solutions within the framework of the Tasmu programme. These concern five priority sectors as follows:

In the transport sector, new technologies will be implemented to improve traffic patterns, road safety and the public transport network.
In the logistics industry, new technologies will be established to facilitate the traffic and commerce of goods, and highlight the importance of the New Doha Port as a key worldwide business destination.
In the health sector, huge efforts are being exerted to improve the population’s health conditions as well as its ability to receive high-standard healthcare.
In the sports sector, many innovations in sporting technology will be developed to enhance, promote and improve the performance of athletic and physical activities at all levels.
In the environmental sector, newer technologies and approaches will be used to monitor and regulate the levels of consumption of natural resources, in addition to sustaining food and water security.

The first phase of implementing these goals is to consider an advanced “Internet of Things” concept, smart transportation, social media networks, and exceptional data analysis, in addition to smart infrastructure solutions. The Tasmu digital platform will help to collect and analyse data sharing across and between the different sectors. It will also ensure provision of the most advanced services to all citizens, residents and tourists.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank my fellow ministers who have facilitated this substantial progress within the Tasmu programme on all economic levels.

In an effort to consolidate the Tasmu programme, we will be working to launch Qatar’s digital platform, which will be the foundation for essential innovations through strengthening cooperative ties between multinational companies, emerging companies and academics. On our part, we will reinforce this project by consolidating our partnership with Qatar Development Bank to ensure adequate financial support for the private sector to enhance in the best way possible their innovative projects within the framework of the Qatar Smart Zone.

Ladies and gentlemen,

It is worth noting that through the Tasmu programme and the related digital investments, we would like to see a major increase in the sector’s overall contribution to Qatar’s gross domestic product, as previously mentioned by his Excellency the Prime Minister. We estimate this increase to exceed QR40 billion in the five coming years. This is only the beginning of a new era, and we truly look forward to building our future as of today.

Last but not least, I would like to thank the respectful audience at the QITCOM Conference and emphasise again that Qatar is looking forward to working with all of you in order to make our goals and deadlines come true. 

May God’s peace, mercy and blessings be upon you.