The transformation towards the digital economy in Bahrain is conducive to economic growth, higher GDP, and higher GDP per capita for Bahrainis, says Bahraini businessman Yacoub Al-Awadhi.
He stressed that digital transformation may have a positive impact on financial and social inclusion and increase access to quality health care and education services.
Al Awadi, CEO of NGN, a global information systems company, stressed the importance of increasing “venture capital” to finance startups in Bahrain. This, he said, would enhance the presence of Bahraini cadres in jobs and digital industries, as well as increase the number of patent applications in Bahrain, while enhancing infrastructure development to improve the supply of ICT products and services.
He said that Bahrain possesses all the elements of the knowledge economy, namely the existence of a supportive community infrastructure, broadband connectivity, Internet access, a learning society, knowledge workers and knowledge makers with the ability to question and connect, and an effective research and development system.
Al-Awadhi stressed that all Bahrainis are in one way or another connected to the national plan for the transformation to the digital economy. In Bahrain, the use of smartphones exceeds 170%, and most Bahrainis have an account on one or more social media; these rates exceed even those in the United States. In addition most Bahrainis display a readiness to embrace new digital products.
On the other hand, Al-Awadhi considered that Bahrain's early transformation towards the digital economy makes it better able to face the challenges of this type of economy. These challenges inevitably come, including the control of multinational companies on global production, open markets and the removal of barriers will facilitate the control of large companies with their networks.
"When we look at American or Chinese technology companies such as Facebook, Google and Alibaba, they are profitable from everywhere in the world, and this has led to an increase in the unimpeded displacement of funds to the United States and China. "Hence the importance of accelerating the transformation towards the digital economy in Bahrain and achieving a balance between exports and imports of digital goods."
In this regard, Al Awadi stressed the importance of accelerating the development of the education system in Bahrain in order to ensure the qualification of graduates to fill the jobs arising from this transformation to the digital economy, saying that the digital economy will provide new job opportunities, but will abolish many of the traditional jobs that we see in existence today. These could well include the job of a school-teacher, bus driver, customer service officer, auditor or bank teller. - TradeArabia News Service