‘Abu-Ghazaleh Knowledge Forum’ Hosts Int@j Chairman in a Digital Talk Entitled ‘Corona Leads Digital Transformation’

AMMAN – Talal Abu-Ghazaleh Knowledge Forum (TAG-KF) hosted Dr. Bashar Hawamdeh, Chairman of the Board of Directors at the Information and Communications Technology Association of Jordan (int@j), in a digital dialogue session entitled "Corona Leads Digital Transformation”. The dialogue was conducted in a live broadcast through the Forum’s Facebook page.
During the session, Hawamdeh stated that the Coronavirus crisis has proved the importance of the Internet in human life as one of people’s basic needs worldwide. He praised the role of all information and communication companies for the great efforts they exerted in this stage noting that they have successfully managed the crisis.
Hawamdeh pointed out that the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector contributes to the gross domestic product at a rate that reaches up to 12%, and, since its rapid development in the year 2000, it has been providing more than 80,000 job opportunities directly or indirectly. That is in addition to exporting Jordanian expertise and highly qualified workers in this sector to the region and the world.
Hawamdeh stressed that int@j is keen to enhance and maintain cooperation ties with all relevant official institutions in a manner that serves the sector’s interests and boosts its contributions to the national economy. He affirmed that Int@j has helped throughout the years in enacting distinctive laws and legislation that had a significant role in stimulating the ICT sector through various means including: reducing sales tax on goods and services imposed on ICT production inputs from 16% to 0%; removing customs fees and reducing income tax from 20% to 5% on ICT activities in the Kingdom and exempting ICT related service exports from income tax. 
In the session, Hawamdeh called for activating and enforcing the role of the Ministry of Digital Economy and Entrepreneurship in fostering and facilitating entrepreneurship and creating an appropriate business environment for entrepreneurs and program developers through a set of stimulative legislation and laws, He also called for integrating entrepreneurship education in school curriculum for students at early stages.
Dr. Hawamdeh emphasized the importance of enabling the private sector to lead the process of real digital transformation at the Kingdom's level through direct follow-up from the Royal Court to ensure the sustainability and the continuity of such transformation regardless of governments' change.
Additionally, Hawamdeh called for creating and developing a ‘National Data Bank’ with an extensive database at the country-level that includes all government services and sectors by linking government entities with one application that contains all necessary data with the aim of facilitating citizens’ access to the services they need, and at the same time activating the smart identity.
Hawamdeh expressed his belief that the Coronavirus (Covid-19) has revealed points of weaknesses in all sectors systems, as well as in the government’s preparedness for digital transformation. He also called for establishing a national information bank that contains the data of all citizens including security, judicial, health, real state, financial services and others.
In the meantime, Hawamdeh praised the role of the youth in establishing entrepreneurial companies that provide different services and products at the regional level, despite their small number, calling on the entrepreneurs to think deeply about the product or service they offer to the consumers by conducting research and studying market and consumer needs. He called on the government to provide further facilities to the entrepreneurs and invest in their companies to help their businesses to grow and to create job opportunities.
For his part, Executive Director of TAG-KF and TAG.Global Education and Youth Consultant, Mr. Fadi Daoud, who moderated the session, pointed out that the digital talk with Dr. Hawamdeh was organized as part of a series of digital meetings and discussions in the time of Coronavirus crisis, conducted in a live broadcast through TAG-KF Facebook page.
It’s worth mentioning that the Information and Communications Technology Association of Jordan (int@j), was established in 2000, as a support society to the information and communications technology sector in Jordan. It strives to make Jordan a center for the information and communications technology sector in the region and internationally, recognized as a source of ICT products and services. It also supports the capabilities of companies operating in the sector as well as stimulating related activities through support of sector related issues by representing the joint interests of companies at the official agencies, and by implementing national initiatives that support the capabilities of companies and the sector.
Int@j Association includes 200 ICT companies, contracting and electronic content companies in Jordan.