12 June 2019
G20 Ministerial Meeting on Trade and Digital Economy

The G20 Ministerial Meeting on Trade and Digital Economy was held on June 8-9, in Tsukuba, Japan. The meeting discussed stimulating the global economy, reforming international financial institutions, and implementing economic reforms.

The Minister of Communications and Information Technology Amr Talaat has participated in the meeting, heading a high-level delegation.

During his participation in a session titled “Data Free Flow with Trust”, Talaat gave three different views on dealing with data in Africa. In addition, Talaat particpated in the “Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence (AI)” session, where he said that Africa currently represents a promising market for innovative technologies, such as AI, which is a powerful tool to help address a number of challenges facing the continent.

Talaat also particpated in the “Trade and Digital Economy” session, where he stated that the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) is a key step to pave the way for more cooperation between African countries in digital economy, and is a platform for cooperation between Africa and its global partners.

On the sidelines of the Ministerial Meeting, the ICT Minister held a number of meetings, with Japanese officials, including government officials and representatives of companies, and academia, with the aim to establish effective partnerships with the Japanese side in ICTs.

He met with Japanese Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications Masatoshi Ishida. The meeting was attended by Ambassador of Egypt to Japan Ayman Kamel. The two sides discussed enhancing cooperation in Artificial Intelligence (AI), data science, and capacity building, and underlined the significance of enhancing technological cooperation between the two countries, especially as Egypt links Japan with Africa. The two sides also presented their views on the major issues discussed at G20 Meeting.

In the framework of establishing partnerships with the Japanese side to adopt AI technology in developing healthcare and diagnostic services, the ICT Minister held bilateral meetings with Medmain CEO Osamu IizukaGeneral Manager of Business Development at LPixel Inc. Shinichiro Tokumasu, and General Manager of Research and Development (R&D) Department at LPixel Inc. Shiho Toyonori.

Talaat and the accompanying delegation visited Tokyo Institute of Technology (TIT), the largest national research institute for science and technology in Japan, with a history spanning over 130 years. He met with TIT Executive Vice President Tetsuya Mizumoto, where they discussed cooperation in data analysis, capacity building, and R&D in AI, and the possibility of mutual educational mission’s exchange between the two countries.

Talaat also visited the Advanced Institute of Industrial Technology (AIIT) in Tokyo, which provides educational programs for IT specialists to qualify them with the required skills to meet industry needs. He discussed with AIIT officials the possibility of cooperation to implement the AIIT training programs in Egypt.

In addition, Talaat met with Executive Vice President at NEC Toshiya Matsuki, where they discussed the possibility of establishing a regional office for the company in Egypt, to serve Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA), as well as a research and development (R&D) center, similar to the one established by the company in Europe, to develop the company’s products that target developing the integrated systems, big data, cloud computing, Artificial Intelligence (AI), e-learning, cybersecurity, and data science.

Furthermore, the ICT Minister met with Executive Vice President at Fujitsu Naoyoshi Takatsuna, where they discussed how to benefit from the company’s expertise in establishing a regional Center for Excellence (CoE) in Egypt, and an R&D and IT technical support lab to serve EMEA region, focusing on cloud computing, Internet of Things (IoT), cybersecurity, digital transformation, and AI. They also discussed cooperation in capacity building.

Moreover, Talaat met with President of the Assistive Technology Development Organization (ATDO) Shigeru Yamauchi, and Vice President Jun Ishikawa. They discussed the possibility of signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that entails establishing a joint institute between the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) and ATDO, to set and implement standards for training programs. This is in addition to enhancing joint cooperation and communication between innovators, researchers, Egyptian and Japanese companies in advanced technology, as well as cooperating to localize applications designed in Japanese.

In addition, the ICT Minister met with officials from OPTiM for AI and IoT, including Executive Officer for global affairs Keiichi Yokoyama and Executive Officer for AI and IoT platform Daisuke Yamamoto. They discussed cooperation in using smart solutions in agriculture, and the possibility of establishing partnership through having a center of applied research in Egypt.

Talaat also met with President of Hiroshima University Mitsuo Ochi. They signed a Letter of Intent (LoI) with the aim to open avenues of cooperation between MCIT and the university, to provide distinguished educational services to the Egyptian youth through sharing and exchanging experiences, developing educational curricula, implementing training programs, and qualifying calibers in capacity building in areas including IoT, data science, AI, and cybersecurity.

The ICT Minister also met with the Russian Minister of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media Konstantin Noskov. They discussed enhancing cooperation in ICTs, and followed up on their discussions held during the Russian Minister’s visit to Egypt in March, heading a high-level delegation, including representatives of government and Russian companies.

Talaat, along with the ministers participating in the G20 Ministerial Meeting, took a tour in the exhibition held on the sidelines of the meeting. They explored the latest 5G applications including telesurgery, as well as translation methods using AI.

Moreover, the ICT Minister visited Cyberdyne Inc., specializing in robots and Hybrid Assistive Limb (HAL). He also visited Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and explored Japan’s contribution in the International Space Station (ISS).

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