The world needs to redefine the concept of security and to put better controls on the use of modern technology to avoid the security and moral damage caused by their misuses, Shaikh Abdullah bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, the head of the Middle East Military Technology Conference (MEMTEC) said.

"The Middle East, which is experiencing changes in the security climate and turbulence in the environment of stability, is now at a critical crossroads," said Shaikh Abdullah who is the Chairman of Bahrain Center for Strategic, International and Energy Studies (DERASAT) and Spokesperson for the Bahrain International Defence Exhibition and Conference (BIDEC), said.

"It is being pulled apart by heated conflicts over security, expansion and interests, attempts to impose chaos entities instead of the national states and the replacement of the values of coexistence and tolerance by the scourges of sectarianism and extremism," he said at the opening of MEMTEC.

In such a context, the importance and seriousness of technology, especially military ones, emerge. Will technology be a gateway for the peoples and countries of the region towards stability and prosperity or a tool for chaos and wars? Shaikh Abdullah asked.

"The region, which has recently witnessed terrorist attacks on civilian commercial ships and oil installations in Saudi Arabia, is growing steadily in the ICT and AI sectors. Studies show that more than 85% of businesses will rely on AI technologies by 2025. These technologies are rapidly and cumulatively reaching various economic and development sectors, opening boundless horizons of innovation and modernization," he said.

"We look for technology to stand invariably on the side of stability and progress, by investing in thought and technology for a culture of peace, support for development, and sustainable security that requires collective action to strengthen partnerships, deter states and sponsors of terrorism and aggression, and maintain maritime security to ensure energy security and the boom of international trade."

Shaikh Abdullah stressed that BIDEC 2019 was an ideal platform to contribute to this end by launching the latest innovative global products and solutions, keeping abreast of progress in the digital transformation process, and taking advantage of opportunities to maximize expertise and benefits, including the localization of knowledge and technology.

"I hail the statements of Major General HH Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa, National Security Advisor, on the issue of nationalization of knowledge and military industries as part of an integrated development strategy aimed at enhancing self-sufficiency and stimulating creativity and innovation," he said.

"The reformist approach of His Majesty the King has laid the foundation for knowledge-building and modern technology and proved his superior ability to accommodate aspirations, meet needs and shape the future realistically and effectively, based on the sagacity of the balance between peace and power, between security and development in order to reinforce the pillars of the modern civil state."

The directive of HM the King, the Supreme Commander, to develop the necessary systems, complete technical structures, and encourage quality investments are within the context of a comprehensive national plan that aims to keep pace with the movement of scientific and technical progress and support the process of digital transformation, Shaikh Abdullah added.

The Bahrain Economic Vision 2030 also offers practical formulas for the transformation to smart economy and digital technology and the use of human potential, which made it a pioneer in consecrating the values of creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship as a national culture and paying greater attention to the technology sector, he said.

"Currently, Bahrain is making significant progress towards the adoption of modern technologies and the qualification of Bahraini specialists. The Kingdom ranks among the top 10 countries in the World Bank's Doing Business report. It has the potential to be a regional hub for digital services, new technologies and artificial intelligence."

Shaikh Abdullah expressed confidence the conference would offer strategic options and stimulate creative initiatives that will enhance opportunities for crisis prevention and investment in digital technology. Hope, tolerance and progress prevail.

"It is not possible to build a legacy and a reservoir of knowledge without sharing and transferring information among different communities and institutions, and sharing best practices, to contribute to a better world of hope, tolerance and progress," he said.

"It is not possible to build a legacy and a reservoir of knowledge without sharing and transferring information among different communities and institutions, and sharing best practices, to contribute to a better world of hope, tolerance and progress," he said.