Arabian Gulf

The initiative of Saudi Arabia and other countries for launching Digital Cooperation Organization


Saudi Arabia and four other countries have collectively launched the Digital Cooperation Organization (DCO) to reinforce cooperation and accelerate the digital economy’s development.

Indeed, the Saudi Arabia joined Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, and Pakistan to initiate on Thursday the DCO in the context of an event where representatives from the World Economic Forum and ITU participated.

The DCO would act with the private sector, international organizations, and academia to reach a global digital transformation.

This step came after Saudi Arabia’s G20 Presidency when the digital economy was one of the focus fields, besides improving telemedicine, distant learning, and contactless systems in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Abdullah Amer Al-Swaha: We are joining hands together towards a commitment to drive consensus on digital cooperation to make sure that we seize an opportunity for our youth, our women and our entrepreneurs with the ambition to grow our combined digital economy to one trillion dollars in the next 3-5 years.

He also added: Our future prosperity will depend on the digital economy. But it can only reach its full potential if we are able to make governments work together collectively with businesses and entrepreneurs so they can survive and thrive, expand their depth into current markets and open doors for everyone into new ones.

Strategic Goals

The DCO shows four strategic aims and objectives on its website, including:

  • Accelerate the growth of the digital economy collectively over all DCO members
  • Improve Advance DCO members’ digital transformation (strategies, plans, ambitions)
  • Reinforce welfare and social stability inclusively via the DCO digital environment
  • Reinforce the collective effort of DCO members in the global digital economy

Reaction

International Telecommunication Union Houlin Zhao praised Saudi Arabia’s G20 presidency for the new step and lauded the movement toward greater cooperation, and describing the initiative as a critical step. On his part, Jordan’s Minister of Digital Economy and Entrepreneurship, Ahmad Hanandeh, also lauded the DCO’s focus on collaboration.

He also said: To create sustainable change, we cannot work in silos; this is a collective and global collaboration. This is where our digital journeys intersect and we can learn from and support one another, which will in turn open doors for our youth and sectors to benefit from these efforts. Furthermore, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi welcomed the initiative via Twitter.

Bahrain’s relevant minister also thanked Saudi Arabia for the move, and Bahrain’s Minister of Transportation and Telecommunications Kamal bin Ahmed Mohammed said: The Kingdom of Bahrain is pleased to be part of such a dynamic initiative and a founding member of the Digital Cooperation Organization (DCO). We thank the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for this initiative and are confident that the DCO will enable members to respond and adapt in an agile and swift manner to the ever-changing digital scene.

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