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Israel peace deal can spur innovation in Mideast, World Government Summit told
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 10 - 03 - 2021

Innovation and peace represent core factors in achieving prosperity for people and societies. They can be the two driving forces behind efforts to shape the world's future in the post-COVID-19 era, virtual audiences heard today, during a session titled "Finding Peace Within a Crisis... Moving Beyond the Pandemic", at the World Government Summit Dialogues.
In the session moderated by Becky Anderson, CNN's managing editor in Abu Dhabi, Nechemia Peres, chairman of the Peres Center for Peace, and Maurice Lévy, chairman of Publicis Groupe discussed how the world has entered a new era of peace and innovation following the pandemic, evidenced, they said in the recent peace agreements signed in the Middle East — most importantly, the Abraham Accords.
The deal has paved the way to transform the region into an innovative knowledge-based economy with enormous growth opportunities.
Peres said: "Following a long era of wars and armed conflicts, the world is now entering a new phase packed with challenges, with the pandemic being foremost among them. The pandemic served as a catalyst for many societies to pursue unifying global efforts and use innovation as an instrument of peace in mitigating conflicts to reach common solutions to serve humanity."
"We are transitioning from a world of wars to an era where we collaborate to address global threats. In the new world, swords are giving way to computers, science, technology, and innovation. We will use the values of innovation to make the world better. UAE's commitment to innovation and building a culture of entrepreneurship is proof enough of a strong resolve to build a Middle East of Innovation. With peace, capital and entrepreneurship, we can unleash a lot of potentials — not only for the Middle East but also for the world at large."
Peres praised the UAE's role in fostering and promoting peace. He said: "The UAE looks to the future with a positive outlook that embraces peace and innovation. By focusing on these two pivots, we can transform this region -where the largest segment of the population is made up of youth under the age of 30 — into a prosperous region that relies on innovation and entrepreneurship."
"I see exciting potential in Fintech and AI in the region in the short term. In the long-run, AI can combine with quantum computing to enter a new age of technology that has the potential to solve all challenges we face — energy, water, healthcare, etc spanning so many sectors. This, combined with digital transformation will make nations powerful."
He added: "It is crucial to develop the region's education sector, and there is a tremendous opportunity in the digital space. Today we have more than 450 million consumers who can be linked to a single digital platform that brings together entrepreneurs, provides trade and smart financial services and connects the region's many zones. This would be similar to the Chinese experience that contributed to promoting the local population's livelihoods and developed the country's economy."
Maurice Lévy, chairman of Publicis Groupe, said that the Arab world has a deeply rooted history in advanced science and mathematics, and can continue along this path in the future if the requisite enablers are present.
"In a world without physical borders, innovation will be the key to ensure peace and a common future," Levy said. "We need to bring innovation and peace together for a better world. The combination of the new world of Israel in peaceful co-existence with the Middle East can lead to a new continent of talent, energy, people working together – a region with prosperity and a region rich of promises for the future."
Levy added: "Peace may open the door to creating a new region full of economic opportunities and prosperity. The Middle East can follow in Europe's footsteps in terms of leveraging economic, scientific and technological opportunities for cooperation, and become a powerhouse similar to major global economies."

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