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Saudi-Chinese partnership has the potential to create MENA’s largest digital economy, says Minister of ICT

25 Apr 2019
Saudi-Chinese partnership has the potential to create MENA’s largest digital economy, says Minister of ICT
Saudi-Chinese partnership has the potential to create MENA’s largest digital economy, says Minister of ICT
Saudi-Chinese partnership has the potential to create MENA’s largest digital economy, says Minister of ICT

HE Eng. Abdullah Al-Swaha, Minister of Communications and Information Technology, unveiled that the partnership between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the People's Republic of China has all the optimal factors to lead establishing the largest digital economy in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), especially in health, smart cities, e-commerce, education and tourism sectors. Promising, noting that these promising sectors are expected to grow and make great leaps in the Kingdom in the next few years.

This came during his participation today 25 April 2019 in the opening of the Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, as part of a high-profile delegation led by the Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources HE Eng. Khaled Al-Falih, with the membership of some Saudi ministers. The Forum was attended by 39 presidents and prime ministers, in addition to experts, intellectuals, businessmen, media and officials from 100 countries.

During a speech at an accompanying event entitled ‘Promoting digital advancement through partnerships’, Minister Al-Swaha stated that the Kingdom now has the largest and fastest growing market for technology in the MENA region, at a compound annual growth rate of 7%. He added that it would reach over $ 35 billion in 2030.

Eng. Al-Swaha said that the Kingdom today has an ambitious roadmap for transformation at all levels, supported by a number of factors, the most important of which is the strong Saudi economy, which today represents a global investment powerhouse with a great impact on the mobility of the global economy. This is empowered by an exceptional geographical and religious advantage, as the heart of the Arab and Muslim worlds, a global hub that links three continents, and a vibrant society based mostly on aspiring youth and skilled and trained work force, to compete aptly in the various activities and disciplines of the labor market.

According to Al-Swaha, the digital structure existing today in the Kingdom has tremendous potential and its applications are a reality, in terms of smart government services, e-commerce and digital health applications, electronic payment, renewal of documents, and issuing of licenses and commercial licenses, all of which is now digitally made easily and conveniently without the need to bother visiting the relevant government agencies.

The two-day Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing is one of the mechanisms for cooperation in the implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative according to its implementation vision released in 2015. The participation in this forum is aimed at strengthening relations in various fields on various issues and consolidating as well as promoting the bilateral relations between the two countries.

Minister of ICT Ministry of ICT MCIT China Belt and Road Initiative e-Commerce electronic payment

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