DUBAI:  Mohammad Abdullah Al Gergawi, UAE Minister of Cabinet Affairs and Chairman of the World Government Summit (WGS) Organization, opened the first day of WGS2022 by setting out how governments need to adapt to an accelerating speed of change that will challenge regulators’ ability to keep pace.

Mohammad Al Gergawi gave ‘three readings of the future’ centred around the acceleration of change, citing ‘frightening and major acceleration of inflation over the last few years’, and a war in the heart of Europe, among other challenges, including regulating cryptocurrency and tackling climate change.

He further said: "Speed of change will be bigger than we expect, there are no givens when dealing with the future, and public-private partnerships are not a choice. We thought that globalisation was the destiny of humanity, the world was getting smaller, and we believed that treaties and agreements had brought nations closer together. Now, that certainty was being tested."

Al Gergawi noted: "The private sector companies had an increasing role to play in solving the challenges of the future, because major changes come from the private sector, and governments are trying to respond, but sometimes pretty late. Today, companies have political positions and stances which used to be the sole preserve of government, and there must be greater collaboration between companies and government going forward."

He said that the World Government Summit 2022 is held under the vision and directives of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, and under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. Al Gergawi stated: "The WGS reflect the vision of the UAE leadership, that the future belongs to those who explore its opportunities, prepare for its challenges, and keep pace with its changes."

Al Gergawi stressed that the Summit aims to enhance the rapprochement between governments and what awaits them in the future by anticipating the most important economic, scientific, technical and political developments, in a clear translation of the Summit’s vision, mission and directions.

In terms of the speed of change, he noted that the cryptocurrency market was already worth $2 trillion, and the value of metaverse was expected to reach $800 billion in the next two years. Adding that what has been achieved in the last 10 years was greater than the last 100, and the readiness was critical to helping to achieve clarity and collective preparedness.

The minister concluded by reminding the WGS2022 audience at Expo 2020 Dubai of the role of the conference in analysing how technology and other key drivers will change the future of governments, and to assist governments in determining priorities, tracking challenges, and understanding the paths forward.