THE IMPACT OF THE DIGITAL ECONOMY ON THE ACHIEVEMENT OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS, A STUDY OF A SAMPLE OF ARAB COUNTRIES
In conjunction with the fourth industrial revolution, whose outputs changed today's global landscape, the importance and role of the digital economy in stimulating sustainable development in its social, economic and environmental dimensions has emerged. In this regard, this paper aims to investigate the impact of the digital economy on the achievement of the sustainable development goals of a sample of 12 out of 22 Arab countries divided into two groups. The first group comprises six digitally leading Gulf countries, namely, Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman and Kuwait, while the second group also includes six digitally promising countries, namely Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria,. For this purpose, the Arab Digital Economy Index 2022 based on five strategic dimensions (digital government, digital foundations, digital citizen, innovation, digital business) was considered as an independent variable and sustainable development goals were adopted as a dependent variable. Using SPSS 23, specifically the Student test and the Levene’s test to compare averages and regression model. The research results confirmed that there were significant differences between the average Arab digital economy index of the sample and the average benchmark index of comparator countries of Malaysia and Singapore. There are also significant differences between the average Arab digital economy index for the sample and the average index for the Arab region. There are significant differences between the average digital index in the first group and the second group. The significant impact of the Arab Digital Index on the achievement of the seven sustainable development goals most affected by digital transformation was verified. While there is no significant impact of the Arab Digital Index on the achievement of all 17 sustainable development goals. The recommendation is that the digital transformation of the Arab countries should be accelerated to develop a secure digital business environment, catch-up and benefit from the gains of the digital economy.
Keywords: Digital Economy, Strategic Dimensions of Digital Economy, Arab Digital Economy Index 2022, Sustainable Development Goals.