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WEF chief: Turkey can lead digital revolution in region

World Economic Forum chief says should continue to invest in innovation, maximizing benefits of digital revolution

Anadolu Agency ECONOMY
Published January 27,2021
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As a G20 economy and a vital geopolitical actor in the region, Turkey can show leadership in boosting the benefits of a digital revolution, said the founder of the World Economic Forum on Wednesday.

Praising Turkey's efforts in digital growth via its national technology initiative, Klaus Schwab said Turkey's ambitious target is to level up R&D to 1.8% over the next two to three years.

"Turkey should continue to invest in innovation and prioritize these to fulfill the pressing needs of socioeconomic growth as well as industrial growth," he told a virtual conference held by the Turkish Industry and Business Association (TUSIAD).

He pointed to the importance of empowering the workforce with the right skills in a climate of ever-growing digital transformation.

"Turkey has a young, dynamic and vibrant population which presents a tremendous opportunity to hone and utilize their skills to drive it towards global leadership."

He said the right skilling strategy should rely not only on the quality of education but also the quality of the ecosystem and its incentives for retaining a young workforce.

"Turkey should continue to build the right skills for current jobs but also emerging and high-tech jobs including in cybersecurity and artificial intelligence," he said.

Tech governance

Underlining that countries must balance technological innovation with technology governance, he said Turkey is starting a pilot program to unlock the potential of blockchain-based digital currency with appropriate governance.

Mentioning how Turkey also became the latest country to join the forum's network of centers for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, he said this will allow it to work with several countries on developing governance frameworks.

"To truly embrace digital transformation, the role of cooperation and collaboration is crucial -- this includes platforms and ecosystems," he said.