Monaco is many things. It is the world’s most expensive prime residential market. It boasts the most prestigious F1 Grand Prix in the world. And now, it hopes to become a leader in digital technology, all thanks to an ambitious project recently launched by the government.
Through its Extended Monaco digital programme, the world’s second smallest country hopes to become one of the world’s most technically advanced nations, making living and working in Monaco a more attractive proposition than ever before.
Three year plan to realise Monaco’s digital dreams
The Monaco digital programme was launched last year, and, having already made significant progress, over the next two years hopes to enhance an already exceptional quality of life by applying the very best digital technology to all its public policies and economy. The three-year programme is the brainchild of ten international leaders in digital technology, who were brought together by project pioneer H.S.H. Prince Albert II.
A key strength to Monaco’s digital ambitions is its size, coupled with its capacity for investment, with digital technology offering an opportunity to boost the Principality’s international presence. At the programme’s launch last April, H.S.H. Prince Albert said: “In a digital world, Monaco is a country that turns its size into a strength, an asset that enhances the performance of our economic and social model, and makes it more sustainable and more human.”
What has Monaco’s digital programme achieved so far?
The programme has already achieved a number of major goals over the past twelve months, not least of all providing 5G internet to everyone living and working in Monaco. Other measures include smart mobility projects such as the MonaBike cycle sharing scheme and app, which registers more than 2,000 journeys by electric bike every day.
Within education, a further achievement is that all pupils in the Principality, from maternelle schools through to college, will continue to have one hour per week of coding lessons: another world-first achieved by Monaco. Meanwhile, all civil servants and government employees are now connected via messaging tools and have taken more than 1,000 modules of online training in recent months between them.
Economic results of the Extended Monaco programme are also tangible. The Principality’s digital economy is now worth €826 million, according to the Monegasque Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (IMSEE), accounting for 5.8% of the country’s revenue excluding financial and insurance activities.
The next steps for the Extended Monaco digital programme
The next phase of the programme is to train, equip and support Monaco businesses to digitise their activities with the emphasis on developing e-commerce, “click and collect” catering, and digital payments. In order to do this, a blue fund of €20 million has been set up to help businesses fulfill their digital potential.
Steps are also being taken to ensure that a secure and regularised digital economy driven by blockchain technology can thrive in the Principality. Monaco is the first country in the world to have a specific legal framework for security token offerings (STOs), a financial instrument that has become a vital tool used by entrepreneurs to raise capital. It is hoped that this will provide around 100 jobs for those who live and work in Monaco each year, which experts believe will inject €150 million into the Monegasque economy long-term.
The new law means that Monegasque companies, and companies looking to establish themselves in Monaco, can use Blockchain to raise funds in an environment which is secure. “What the Principality is seeking to do is to become a nation that funds innovation, that is open to the world and that is a place where high-quality projects are developed and financed,” Monaco’s Chief Digital Officer Frédéric Genta said.