Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Estonia

09/30/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 09/30/2019 03:30

UfM conference takes place in Tallinn to strengthen digital transformation and digital skills for the future

Today's UfM Conference on Digital Transformation and Digital Skills for the Future, which took place in the Estonian capital Tallinn, marked an important step towards the Union for the Mediterranean's engagement with the rapidly shifting technological landscape whose character is essentially digital. The conference built on Estonia's experience as a global digital leader with one of the most advanced digital societies in the world.

The conference brought together 50 participants from the Euro-Mediterranean region, including government officials, representatives of the private sector, entrepreneurs, academics, and other stakeholders to engage in discussions on a broad range of issues that included e-governance, e-services, digital economy and digital skills.

The conference was organised by the UfM Secretariat in partnership with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Estonia and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). It was inaugurated by Urmas Reinsalu, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Estonia. In his opening speech, he emphasised that 'there is much to learn from Estonia's e-governance success. Estonia is ready and willing to share its experience of building up a secure and efficient e-government ecosystem and help with global digital transformation to better achieve Sustainable Developments Goals'.

In his welcoming address, UfM Secretary General Nasser Kamel stressed the determination of the UfM Secretariat to exploit the potential of the Fourth Industrial Revolution in the UfM region, praising the Estonian experience in digital transformation. He stated, 'In the digital age, harnessing and mainstreaming new technologies can no longer be considered a matter of choice, but rather a matter of fact for any country that seeks smart and sustainable growth. There is a need for a change in the mindset whereby technology is seen as a revenue-driver rather than an overhead cost'.

According to the International Data Corporation (IDC), worldwide spending on digital transformation technologies was estimated at $1.3 trillion in 2018, up 16.8% from 2017. The UfM Secretariat has been actively engaged in initiatives and projects targeting the promotion of digital economy and digital transformation in the region, and the conference in Tallinn is a first step towards a more structured endeavour that will build on the recommendations emanated from the Tallinn Conference.

The final Outcome Document will be available on the UfM's website.

Photos (Raigo Pajula): https://flic.kr/s/aHsmHnJTrX

Additional information:

Britta Tarvis
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Estonia
Communication Department
[email protected]
+372 637 7627 / +372 5194 7045