Zurich and Abu Dhabi - Wise Media called to provide recommendations to the Arab Federation for E-commerce for the strategic plan 2017-2010. A focus group for policy makers is created to investigate the role of big data and artificial intelligence in the digital economy from a government’s standpoint. Wise Media has been requested to offer consultancy to the Arab Federation for E-commerce, an organization of the League of Arab States, for its strategic plan 2017-2010. As a regional government-driven initiative for policy makers, the Arab Federation for E-commerce aims at developing a framework of guidelines to streamline local regulations in light of a common vision and best practices in the context of global digital trade. The Arab Federation for E-commerce is currently chaired by His Highness Sheikh Saif Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister of the UAE. On the occasion of the drafting and discussion of the Federation’s strategic plan, recommendations were provided by Wise Media in the form of a confidential briefing, with notes for the strategic plan to be presented during the annual board meeting of the Federation. Held in Cairo, the board meeting of the Arab Federation for E-commerce opened its doors to address 14 government delegations, with member states represented by experts gathering to discuss today’s main barriers to e-commerce frameworks. Debate centered on the main laws enacted throughout the world and on the definition of a master plan leading to an ecosystem granting safe and secure online transactions associated with e-commerce throughout the region. As mentioned in the presented strategic plan: “The global e-commerce market is worth hundreds of billions of dollars, and is continually growing at a rapid and exponential rate, in terms of information exchange, sales, purchase and marketing of goods and services, especially triggered by the following factors: advancements of the smart applications of information technology, emergence of the virtual 3D world, mobile applications, second generation of the ‘web 2’ internet, Internet of Things (IoT), which enable us to view different things, events, and activities over the internet, in addition to the development of secured e-Payment Gateways.” “With a dynamic young population, one of the highest gross domestic products (GDP) and per capita internet penetration levels across the globe, the Arab world sees supportive government initiatives and will witness a strong growth of e-commerce in the upcoming years,” says His Highness Sheikh Saif. “Egypt is currently the largest internet market followed by Saudi Arabia. The UAE has a large, mature internet population and a relatively high rate of internet penetration. These three markets will be the main drivers of growth of the e-Commerce industry of the Arab world.” The involvement of Wise Media during the initial phase of H.H. Sheik Saif’s chairmanship leads to the establishment of a special focus group devoted to investigate the role of big data and artificial intelligence in the digital economy from a government’s standpoint. “Having watched the disruptive effects of e-commerce, governments are now taking a deeper look also at benefits and implications of applying artificial intelligence to the massive amounts of data continuously gathered and collected through e-commerce initiatives,” says Sophie Boyer de la Giroday, President of Wise Media and Chairman of the Finance Transparency Forum. “Policies need to reflect and address the speed at which innovative technologies disrupt traditional business models and trigger a profound mutation in today’s economy. While e-commerce is an enabling sector for global and local economies, A.I. is a strategic growth area when thinking of a comprehensive economic and societal development strategy.” “Consumer data are citizen data. If ecommerce is left in the hand of the strongest party, all data will fall in the hands of foreign industries. From an economic perspective, governments can look at AI in order to define how to extract maximum value. They furthermore will need to decide for themselves who should be entitled to have access and apply artificial intelligence to these data and how to give back the extracted value to their citizens.” The strategic plan of The Arab Federation of e-Commerce for the years 2017-2020 will serve as a blue print for the achievement of the Federation’s objectives and targets as leading organization driving and supporting the e-commerce market of the Arab world.