*5,000 companies to be benefited by the new programme
*All government services to be provided online by 2020
HE the Minister of Transport and Communications Jassim bin Saif al-Sulaiti launched yesterday the 'digital transformation for SMEs programme' that is aimed at empowering enterprises to adopt technology seamlessly.
The initiative is designed to ensure the success of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) by increasing their productivity and innovation.
At a press conference, the minister said 5,000 companies are expected to benefit through the scheme by the end of 2019, stressing that the ministry is committed to keep pace with with the digital age. He said the government of Qatar has clear plans for digital transformation and the enhanced role of technology in different sectors, in order to realise the Qatar National Vision goal of building a knowledge-based society.
Al-Sulaiti noted that Qatar now has some of the world's most developed IT and communications infrastructure, including fiber-optic network, data centers and cloud-based computing services.
He said there are now 2,400 e-government services, with more than 1,000 of them on the internet and more than 600 of them on mobile, stressing that he is confident the government will provide all its services electronically by 2020.
The minister stressed that it is the citizens who will lead the digital transformation initiative, noting that Qatar is first worldwide in the use of internet. "The use of smartphones is at 147% and social media 99%. The ministry will also implement the smart Qatar programme "Tasmu" to use smart solutions in five economic sectors in a bid to speed up the implementation of Qatar National Vision 2030."
Al-Sulaiti called upon the owners of small- and medium-sized enterprises to participate and benefit from the programme, which is designed to support them to be at the forefront of ICT development.
He also called on them to establish companies capable of playing a role in the development of digital economy and to take advantage of this golden era in the history of Qatar to build companies capable of contributing to the diversification of sources of income.
The ministry's "Digital Transformation for SMEs programme" is set to provide strategic partnership with the Ministry of Economy and Commerce, Qatar Development Bank, Qatar Chamber, The Communications Regulatory Authority, Qatar National Bank, Ooredoo and Microsoft, for a range of digital and consulting services in the fields of e-commerce.
The programme will improve the business model through digital solutions, to offer the best services to meet the demands of customers, and to enable electronic partnerships with technology companies, financiers and government agencies to enhance the digital economy in the country, and to increase investment and raise gross domestic product.
The minister also toured an exhibition being held on the sidelines and met with officials of a number of small- and medium-sized companies working in the field of digital services.
After the tour, he said the firms participating in the accompanying exhibition represent companies that were able to provide services through the adoption of the programme of digital transformation, which has contributed to the expansion of their services. Besides, it enabled the customers of those companies to deal smoothly with them via smart phones .
Two discussions held on the occasion focused on the role of digital transformation in driving innovation in business and promoting economic growth and the power of web technologies, e-commerce and cloud services in the growth of small- and medium-sized enterprises.