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Vice Minister of ICT at WEF on MENA: KSA seeks to be the largest digital market in the region

06 Apr 2019
Vice Minister of ICT at WEF on MENA: KSA seeks to be the largest digital market in the region
Vice Minister of ICT at WEF on MENA: KSA seeks to be the largest digital market in the region

His Excellency Eng. Haitham Al-Ohali, Vice Minister of Communications and Information Technology, participated in the 'World Economic Forum on the Middle East and North Africa' held in Jordan with the patronage and participation of His Majesty King Abdullah II and Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah, featuring about 1,000 government leaders, heads of companies and civil society association from around 50 countries around the world.

In his speech, HE Al-Ohali emphasized the importance of the forum as an important platform for cooperation between the public and private sectors as well as joint action to achieve further economic reforms that serve the peoples and countries of the region. Topics include the impact of emerging and advanced technologies on the Arab world, and how to promote entrepreneurship, peace and reconciliation across the region, as well as the impacts of climate change and environmental challenges.

Eng. Al-Ohali highlighted the efforts of the Kingdom to roll out the fifth generation (5G) telecom network as one of the world’s earliest countries, following the successful launch of the first live 5G network connection in the MENA region. He noted that as a reflection to the significant advancement achieved by the ICT sector in the Kingdom, which enabled it to become among the top countries in ICT development according tothe United Nations. He also commended the great support that the ICT sector receives from the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz and His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman (may Allah save them).

"The Kingdom is set to become the largest digital market in MENA and Smart Cities projects are expected to contribute approximately $ 2 billion to GDP by 2030," said Al-Ohali. "Information technology, software and IT equipment reached $ 12 billion, while the emerging technologies market amounted to $ 10 billion, placing the Kingdom among the fastest growing markets in the world," added Al-Ohali.

On the sidelines of the forum, Vice Minister held several meetings with ministers, senior officials and heads of international ICT companies, primarily the Minister of Communications and Information Technology of Jordan HE Muthanna Gharaibeh, President and CEO of GE in the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey Eng. Nabil Habayeb, and others.

The two-day WEF on MENA, held in partnership with the King Abdullah II Fund for Development (KAFD) under the theme of “Building New Platforms of Cooperation,” discussed several topics including: Economic reforms to ensure competitiveness in the era of 4IR; Meeting MENA's young entrepreneurs' expectations. The forum featured 100 startups from the Arab world in banking and finance, consumer industries, energy, infrastructure, urban development, travel and tourism.

Vice Minister of ICT MCIT Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030 4IR World Economic Forum on the Middle East and North Africa

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