Largest Arab ICT Delegation to US after the Arab Spring Seeks to Identify New Areas of Strategic Cooperation

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In the wake of the Arab Spring, over 40 representatives from the Arab information and communications technology sector travel to Las Vegas, Silicon Valley and Washington, DC to meet with key officials and leading technology companies, bringing together Arab expertise with US investment opportunities.

Delegates from 13 Arab countries convened in Las Vegas on January 11, 2012, the first stop on a 10-day “ICT Road Show” that continues on to Silicon Valley and Washington, DC. The group is one of the largest ever delegations of information and communications technology (ICT) representatives from the Arab world, and the first since the Arab Spring. Participants from the delegation include Ministers of Telecommunications, chairmen from Telecommunications Regulatory Authorities, Arab ICT sector associations and private sector executives.

Organized jointly by IJMA3-USA (The Arab ICT Organization) and the National U.S.-Arab Chamber of Commerce (NUSACC), the ICT Road Show serves as an innovative platform to bring together high-level ICT sector expertise from the Arab world with the biggest names in the American investment community to explore the latest technologies, products and policy trends to emerge in the global market. Beyond the immediate partnership and investment opportunities the ICT Road Show provides, the diversity of nationalities among the delegates may demonstrate a longer-term commitment to US-Arab ICT sector collaboration. According to IJMA3-USA CEO Nizar Zakka, “the presence of such a large ICT delegation has the potential to build bridges between the Middle East and the US, particularly after the Arab Spring when there has been increased attention on the impact of global technology policies and products on both citizens and governments, particularly in the Middle East.”

In addition to attending the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), the world’s leading consumer technology tradeshow, delegates also took part in a reception dinner with top technology executives hosted by the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce. With over 2,000 electronics and ICT companies in attendance, and over 35,000 participants from outside the US alone, the CES provides an unparalleled opportunity for Arab private sector companies to explore partnerships, investment opportunities, and new product development not only with US-based technology firms, but with global companies as well. In a meeting organized for delegates with CES CEO Gary Shapiro, Shapiro emphasized the potential for the Arab ICT sector to take on a more prominent role in the development of new ICT products and services, noting that the recent political transformations may provide newfound research and development opportunities in the region that had not previously been possible.

The Arab ICT Delegation continues in Silicon Valley and Washington, D.C. until January 20, 2012.

IJMA3-USA is a 501(c)(3) organization based in Washington, DC that brings together diverse stakeholders in pursuit of policies that support Arab ICT and Internet freedom, bolster civil society, and create growth opportunities and new partnerships for Arab ICT companies. IJMA3-USA is closely allied with its sister organization, IJMA3- The Arab ICT Organization, based in the Arab region. IJMA3 is a non-governmental umbrella organization representing 19 national ICT associations from across the Middle East and North Africa. Together, IJMA3 and IJMA3-USA work to advocate policies that advance the ICT industry’s growth and development; facilitate international trade and investment in ICT products and services; and harness ICT towards the fulfillment of critical development challenges.


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