Saudi pushes for digitisation

01 August 2016

The Saudi Ministry of Commerce and Investment has set a road map for digital transformation to take place expeditiously in the kingdom.

It signed an MoU with Cisco, a global technology leader, to make that vision possible. 

Saudi Arabia has a young, fast-growing demographic, is already the largest technology market in the Middle East and its market is heavily weighted towards technology-literate early adopters, said Cisco.

The company also said the kingdom’s strategic location offers advantages of a technology hub that caters to over 350 million Arabic-speakers in the region.

The MoU was signed following a meeting between Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and senior Cisco officials including executive chairman John Chambers, chief executive Chuck Robbins and managing director (Saudi Arabia) Abdullah Al Swaha.

It serves as a partnership framework and underlines Cisco’s strategic commitment in support of Saudi Arabia’s efforts to drive digital transformation at a country-wide level.

Digitisation will play an important role as the kingdom focuses on diversifying its economy and achieving its ambitious “Vision 2030” agenda, launched last April.

“This partnership reflects the Saudi government’s priority focus on embracing digital transformation and capturing the many opportunities presented by country digitisation,” remarked Dr Majid bin Abdullah Al Qasabi, Minister of Commerce and Investment for Saudi Arabia.

“Developing a vibrant digital economy is a key pillar of our economic diversification plan and collaborating with global technology leaders is essential to bring expertise and know-how to our programme of development,” he added.

The memorandum outlines a multipronged approach through which Cisco will help accelerate Saudi Arabia’s digital agenda and position the country for long-term prosperity in the digital age.

Through their partnering, Saudi Arabia and Cisco will identify a number of collaborative opportunities in areas that include developing national IT infrastructure, accelerating business innovation, stimulating startups and enhancing research and education.

“Saudi Arabia has a bold plan for fostering an innovation, talent and entrepreneurship ecosystem that will shift the economy towards greater private sector participation and a more market-based approach,” stated Chambers.

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