DUBAI — Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice president and prime minister of the United Arab Emirates and ruler of Dubai, said that the next priority of the country is to increase the contribution of the digital sector in the national economy.

Sheikh Mohammed made the remarks during a meeting with the "artificial intelligence, digital economy, and teleworking applications Team," on Monday, according to the UAE's state news agency WAM.

"Our priorities are the development of the digital economy that will contribute to our national economy, reinforce the country’s smart infrastructure, ensure our digital readiness and maintain the continuity of business of the UAE Government under all circumstances," Sheikh Mohammed said.

"The digital economy is a key driver in the growth and development of many new national economic sectors, and will help reinforce our competitiveness in the global market and future economy," he added.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid made this statement while reviewing the future working plans of the UAE Government in the areas of Artificial Intelligence, AI, the digital economy and teleworking applications, which was introduced as part of the new structure of the UAE Cabinet announced in July and under the new government development plans for the post-COVID-19 era, especially in light of the growing strategic role of the digital economy, smart technology and teleworking in managing businesses in many sectors and fully organizing supply chains, both locally and internationally.

Sheikh Mohammed noted that the contribution of the digital economy to the country’s GDP in 2019 accounted for 4.3 percent, noting that a minister of state was appointed to increase this figure.

"The digital economy has proven its efficiency, and the world’s need for it is very obvious during the global health crisis. The digital economy does not need large establishments and significant financial resources. However, it requires minds, ideas and imagination. The future will involve many changes in health, education and trade, and we must be ready," he said.

During the meeting, which was also attended by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and chairman of the Dubai Executive Council and other high-ranking ministers, Omar Bin Sultan Al Olama, the minister of state for artificial intelligence, digital economy, and remote work applications, presented a comprehensive plan that focuses on employing future opportunities and offers the tools and infrastructure to support the UAE’s leadership in foreseeing and preparing for global changes.

"The UAE government is leading globally in the field of the digital economy. The main importance of this sector is its capacity to create new job opportunities and increase economic and investment opportunities, as well as its significant contribution to ensuring economic diversification and achieving sustainable development, which will help reinforce the UAE’s leading position in all international competitiveness indexes," Al Olama said.

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