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Posted On: 20 April 2009 10:46 am
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:09 pm

Qatar shines amid global gloom: Expert

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The World Bank warned yesterday that the global recession was going to last long and the worst has yet to come, especially in the developing countries. The world has experienced economic shocks and there has been a contraction in trade this year, Carlos Primo Braga, Director for Economic Policy, World Bank, said during the conclusion of a conference here yesterday. Addressing the 3rd International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies and Development (ICTD) 2009 at the Carnegie Mellon University-Qatar, Braga, however, said the only high-growth country in these challenging times was Qatar due to its vibrant liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry. Qatar’s efforts to put emphasis on knowledge-based economy has played a significant role in stimulating stable economic growth even in the face of the global financial crisis. Braga said with the deepening financial crisis, several governments saw investments in Information Communication Technologies (ICT) as an integral part of recovery efforts. “I’m happy with what I’m seeing in Qatar, which is investing in its future, not only in infrastructure, but is also concentrating in its knowledge-based economy to sustain significant growth.” The ICT industry is better positioned to confront the crisis, said Braga. “The telecommunications service is the leading indicator of economic recovery.” Braga concluded that e-business and ICT use will continue to expand on a global basis and their benefits can be substantial not only for business, but in also promoting trade and enhancing productivity at a macro-level. “Convergence in e-business practices can happen, but… unless the governments provide the proper regulatory environment for private action and support efforts to expand digital literacy, with special attention to the needs of Small and Medium-size Enterprises (SME), the digital divide at the level of business practices will widen,” he said. With more than 350 scholars, practitioners and social scientists focused on a broad range of domains from around the world, the ICTD organisers have declared the conference a success. “ICTD2009 has already achieved great success. We are extremely pleased with the number of people who have joined us from so many places around the world. The level of excitement and quality of participation has exceeded our expectations,” said Bernardine Dias, PhD, assistant research professor of Robotics at Carnegie Mellon University and ICTD2009 Conference Chair. Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar hosted the three-day ICTD2009 conference, with the TechBridgeWorld research group.