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At the launch of Future Investment Initiative:

Minister of ICT says "Kingdom's leaders are supporting the efforts to make the future and anticipate its changes"

24 Oct 2018
Minister of ICT says "Kingdom's leaders are supporting the efforts to make the future and anticipate its changes"

Following his participation in the extensive launch event of the Investment Future Initiative (FII) 2018 held yesterday 23 October, the Minister of Communications and Information Technology HE Eng. Abdullah Al-Swaha lauded the generous patronage of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Crown Prince, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Defense, and Chairman of the Board of the Public Investment Fund (PIF). He also noted that their unlimited support for the efforts of making the future and anticipating its changes and challenges as well as reacting to them proactively is a confirmation of their keenness to find solutions that enhance the citizen's life quality and raise the standard of his life to a level worthy of the aspirations for the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 and its three pillars: a thriving economy, a vibrant community, and an ambitious nation.

The inauguration event featured ICT experts, specialists and leaders. The FII is aimed at highlighting the attractive investment opportunities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

In this context, Eng. Abdullah Al-Swaha stressed that the FII would contribute to the creation of many opinions and ideas and would shed light on many details and different dimensions through its three topics: Investing in Transformation; Technology as Opportunity; Advancing Human Potential. In addition, he emphasized that the Kingdom will continue efforts to develop innovative solutions that embrace technology in order to be able it to be one of the top 20 global models of digital transformation and innovation, making it a global hub for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and a pool of creative ambitious and incentive ideas.

Furthermore, Minister Al-Swaha praised the efforts exerted by the PIF, which he said plays an important role in promoting the desired digital transformation and adopting and developing new and modern technologies by providing a suitable environment that helps realize the vision of HRH Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz and encourage government entities to adopt these technologies to improve the governmental work ecosystem, as well as provide the opportunity for private start-ups to find real investment opportunities and involve them in the overall development process in the Kingdom. He indicated that this global initiative will bolster the Kingdom’s position as a global hub for innovation and realize the leadership’s proactive vision that aims to continue the process of building the future, particularly as it is a world-leading and technology-specific event as it highlights the latest technological developments, innovations and inventions representing solutions to many challenges and that contribute to redefining the future and moving forward to promote the concept of smart cities by keeping up with the Fourth Industrial Revolution and employing its innovative technologies. He noted that the initiative would open the horizons of cooperation and would move the Kingdom up to a more advanced leading position through alliances and partnerships with the major international players and companies involved so as to exploit the huge investment opportunities in the Kingdom.

Al-Swaha pointed out that the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) is working through its strategic orientations to lay the foundation for a new stage of strengthening the capabilities for government entities and their various sectors using the tools of the future by enabling this ambitious nation digitally. He added that the MCIT is working to invest all qualitative efforts, including the Fourth Industrial Revolution to the making of the future in order to realize the Vision 2030, revealing the three pillars adopted by the MCIT to make the Kingdom the regional technology hub, which are the digital infrastructure, the data ecosystem, and the ICT sector’s policy framework.

For the achievements in the three pillars, Al-Swaha explained that during the past 18 months, the MCIT has made many achievements and quantum leaps, stating that in terms of digital infrastructure the MCIT has launched a fund to stimulate the deployment of FTTH worth US$3 billion, and more homes, schools and hospitals have been connected, including over 700,000 homes, noting the MCIT's plan to connect 2.2 million homes by 2020. He said the speed of the Internet has quadrupled. With regard to the open data, the Minister announced that a data office was created to ensure pushing forward usage and governance, and a large number of datasets were launched on "data.gov.sa" aiming to provide 5000 datasets by 2020. About the last pillar, he said that the MCIT is conducting studies to separate the regulation of the postal and transport sector from its legislation as part of the MCIT's efforts to promote this sector and encourage the adoption of emerging technologies.

In respect of women’s engagement in the ICT sector, the Minister Al-Swaha unveiled that its ratio is increasing steadily, pointing to its increase in the last few years to 12.7% and attributing to the new administrative unit created recently by the MCIT entitled ‘Women Enablement’ to be responsible for developing multiple programs including specialized training and qualification of women leaders, in addition to organizing digital events, with a view to promote the engagement of women in the sector to be contributors and participants in the journey to empower this ambitious country digitally.

On the collaboration between the government agencies and the private sector, Al-Swaha commended the good level of relationship. He pointed out that in this regard, various funds were established for venture capital and financing funds for start-ups and small and medium-sized enterprises at a cost of about SR6 billion. He also called upon government and private entities, as well as the young national capacities, to join efforts to move forward using and employing modern technologies, stressing the MCIT’s commitment to continuing the research and development process in order to establish strong foundations for building a digital society, a digital economy, and a digital government.
 
 
 

Minister of ICT Ministry of ICT Vision 2030 FII ICT Sector New Orientations Digital Saudi

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