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Value of K-net transactions surpassed $1 billion in 2016 – Digital business sees major prosperity

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Minister of Commerce and Industry and Acting Minister of State for Youth Affairs Khaled Al-Roudhan during the opening of the second edition of ArabNet Conference and Exhibition

KUWAIT CITY, Oct 17, (KUNA): Minister of Commerce and Industry Khaled Al-Roudhan said Tuesday that the transactions value of the retail payment system (K-net) in Kuwait has surpassed $1 billion in 2016. Digital business in Kuwait has seen lately a major prosperity, Al- Roudhan, also Acting Minister of State for Youth Affairs, said in his opening speech at the second edition of ArabNet Kuwait conference and exhibition.

Social media penetration in Kuwait is at 96 percent, one of the highest globally, and leading the MENA region on platforms such as Snapchat and Instagram, he said. Websites in Kuwait also attract a high percentage of viewers; around 320 million viewers monthly with an average of 6 minutes of time spent on a page, added Al-Roudhan. Such an excellent ratio indicates that Kuwaiti web users prefer reading web headlines in more details than fast browsing, he said.

Kuwait gives special attention and keenness to all initiatives aimed to enhance youth potentials and foster their abilities and skills in various fields, Al- Roudhan said. Kuwait also spares no effort in sponsoring, supporting, and backing such serious initiatives, added the senior official. The Kuwait government has so far achieved significant steps in encouraging youngsters and supporting their private business initiatives, including information technology (IT), he noted.

It has provided the youngsters with an environment for their IT initiatives, beginning with enhancing school and academic curriculums, said Al-Roudhan. The government also helped in creating incubations for companies, securing funds and legislations, providing an infrastructure for economic and social development, and creating newer job opportunities for youngsters, he added.

Most of the new legislations in Kuwait were issued in favor of youth action and projects such as backing micro-enterprises, cutting-down on commercial licenses procedures and issuing them electronically in a record time, added the minister. The National Fund for Small and Medium Enterprise Development was established as an independent public corporation, with a total capital of KD 2 billion, to encourage youth potentials, support their businesses, and provide them with keys for success through investment opportunities, he noted. Investment opportunities include knowledge development in technology, digital creativity, and entrepreneurship, providing youngsters with an important platform for achievement and excellence for tomorrow’s digital world, he added.

Al-Roudhan also said the government has paid closer attention to the effectiveness of e-transactions, prompting it to launch the country’s official e-government system, which provides key information and services for citizens, residents, state and private bodies. The e-government system also include social media links, allowing the users to interact and participate in submitting their opinions, evaluations, ideas, and suggestions, said the minister.

The Kuwaiti government, in cooperation with the Parliament, has launched the e-government system through issuing a law to regulate electronic transactions, including e-trade, e-signature, and e-payment, in addition to privacy and date protection, he noted. Meanwhile, Al-Roudhan said that ArabNet Kuwait

2017 conference poses a serious opportunity for Kuwaiti youngsters to take advantage of international and regional experiences and expertise on most recent updates and developments in digital business world. The event is part of massive efforts by Kuwaiti state institutions and private sectors to attain His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah’s vision in transforming the country into a major regional and international commercial hub.

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