On behalf of IJMA3-USA, it is my great pleasure to welcome you to the Arab High Tech Road Show (HTRS) to the United States, organized in partnership with NUSACC, and with the support of Northern Virginia Technology Council (NVTC), Plug and Play Tech Center, TechAmerica, and TechWadi. I would like to extend a special welcome to the Arab Ministers of Telecom, Telecom Regulators, Chambers of Commerce, ICT Associations, and private sector companies from 13 Arab countries: Iraq, Jordan, Yemen, Tunisia, Lebanon, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Qatar, Egypt, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Mauritania and Morocco.
Over the past year, the events surrounding the “Arab Spring” have cast newfound attention on the impact of global technology policies and products on both citizens and governments, particularly in the Middle East. IJMA3 and IJMA3-USA, with the full cooperation and support of its ICT association members, have been at the forefront in addressing resulting concerns about the protection of online users and the promotion of open Internet policies. Now, more than ever, we seek to prioritize the rights of the wider ICT ecosystem to ensure that the achievements of this past year continue to transform into prosperity and grassroots-led development. Through cooperation between governments, the private sector, and civil society organizations, we can promote an enabling global environment that not only supports the growth of the overall ICT sector, but protects the freedoms of online users and those who speak out against repressive policies and regimes.
In short, there has never been a more opportune time to unite leading figures from the Arab and US ICT industries in support of long-term development and partnership. With the largest ever ICT delegation to the US, the 2012 HTRS provides an ideal opportunity for new trade and investment between the Arab region and the US, as well as chance to advocate with leading policymakers on behalf of initiatives that are critical to the growth and development of the ICT sector. Our program of activities during the HTRS is fast-paced and designed to maximize networking and investment opportunities through participation in events with some of the ICT industry’s most influential private and public sector players in Las Vegas, Silicon Valley, and Washington, DC.
I look forward to sharing this time together with you in support of these new opportunities for partnership and collaboration