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Preparations for The e-commerce conference
 Riyadh 5th May 2001

 Hectic preparations are under way for the launch of a major e-commerce conference and exhibition here this week.

The e-commerce conference at the King Faisal Hall will be opened by Riyadh Governor Prince Salman tomorrow on behalf of Crown Prince Abdullah, deputy premier and commander of the National Guard. The exhibition will be held at the Riyadh Exhibition Center from Monday.

Khalid Al-Gari, a member of the organizing committee, told Arab News that the event, being organized by King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology, the Ministry of Commerce and the Riyadh Exhibition Company, has attracted international attention.

“This initiative is the first time that KACST and the Ministry of Commerce have combined their technical resources ... to expand the role of e-commerce in the Saudi economy, produce the required regulations and guidelines, and attract the needed private sector investments.” He said admission to the exhibition and lectures would be on payment of a fee and those interested should contact Riyadh Exhibitions Co. on 4541448 or visit their website for details.

Al-Gari said the United States was sending Paul Christy, director of Information Systems for the US Commercial Services, to attend the conference while the UK had nominated Andrew Pinder, director of industry in the government’s e-envoy office. Pinder recently took to the stage with Microsoft’s chairman Bill Gates to demonstrate Britain’s world-leading government gateway portal to representatives of governments across the world.

Malaysia will be represented by the director-general of Malaysian Administration Modernization and Management Planning Unit. The United Nations is dispatching its regional technology expert on e-commerce in the Arab world. The CEO of Dubai Internet City and other regional experts are also expected to take part.

Al-Gari said representation from the private sector is equally impressive. The industry’s household names, such as Microsoft, Intel, Sun, Nokia, IBM, Cisco, Hewlett Packard and Arthur Anderson are among the companies that have named high-level speakers to the three-day program. Special seminars are also planned by on the new breed of business-to-business services and Meta Group on e-commerce security. Saudi OgerTel, the Internet Service Provider of Saudi Oger, and Petrocommerce, BEA, E-Commerce and IV will also present seminars.

The Kingdom’s speakers are among an impressive list of dignitaries led by Saudi Telecom Company, the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency, Saudi Basic Industries Corporation, Saudi Aramco, the Ministry of Commerce and KACST.

Deputy Minister of Commerce for Technical Affairs Dr. Fawaz Alamy will highlight the Saudi government’s keenness to promote economic diversification and the pivotal role of e-commerce in boosting Saudi exports.

Dr. Abdullah Al-Rasheed, vice president for research at KACST, said “the distinguished participants will contribute ideas that will be of great help in shaping the emerging e-commerce and e-government policy guidelines for the Kingdom.”

The Saudi Research and Publishing Company’s publications — Arab News, Asharq Al-Awsat and Eqtesadiah — are bringing out special supplements on Monday to mark the event. SRPC will have a stand at the expo where all its publications will be on display. Visitors can read Arab News and Asharq Al-Awsat on the Internet at the SRPC stand.

Source: Arab News©

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05 May 2001 06:11:49 PM

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