Under the patronage of the Communication and Information Technology Minister Abdullah Alswaha, the Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) launched the “Digital Technology Forum" 2022, today. Under the theme "Enabling Local Technology Products", organized by CITC in partnership with the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, the Saudi Export Development Authority and the Local Content and Government Procurement Authority.
The Forum kicked off with a H.E. the Vice Minister of MCIT Eng. Haitham Alohali, H.E. the Vice Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources Eng. Osama Alzamil, H.E. the Governor of CITC Dr. Mohammed Altamimi, and H.E. the Digital Government Authority Governor Eng. Ahmed Alsuwaiyan.
At the opening remarks, the CITC’s Deputy Governor for IT and Emerging Technologies Mr. Raed Alfayez showcased the IT sector’s growth indicators, which have increased from 43 Billion SAR in 2017 to 73 Billion SAR in 2021, with an annual growth rate of 14%, and expected to reach 103 Billion SAR in 2025.
Alfayez emphasized the unlimited support from H.R.H the Crown Prince and Prime Minister Mohammed bin Salman Alsaud to the IT sector, which became the largest market in the region and one of the most promising sectors in achieving the Kingdom’s vision 2030 and a key component in supporting the digital infrastructure; and noted that we are witnessing qualitative leaps in the Kingdom's IT market.
He also indicated that in the last year’s forum, the Commission launched its strategy to empower IT sector toward the future, which served as the starting point for drawing and building sector landscapes, identifying initiatives and projects that began to motivate technical investment by emphasizing the attractive investment environment, the Kingdom's potential for technical investment, and success stories.
Alfayez highlighted the sector's leaps and effective initiatives in the Kingdom's IT market, where 9 companies are listed on the stock market , and has grown 350% in just one year. According to the Kingdom's IT market business's specialized classification, the Commission has registered over 500 companies in the ManassaTech.
In the field of emerging technologies, specifically IoT, Alfayez confirmed that the IoT subscription rate has reached more than 10 Million subscriptions, because of the development of the IoT that covers more than 95% of urban areas and handles more than 500 Billion connected devices, the approval of “Connected Vehicles” Services for more than 20 commercial agencies, and in Cloud Computing, the service providers increased to 31 with 3 global companies.
To foster an investment-friendly regulatory environment, the Commission issued several regulatory documents and guides, including Software Capitalization, IT market classification, and computing and IoT regulations. It also launched 12 enabling initiatives and 33 awareness-raising workshops to encourage supply and demand, as well as the Emerging Technologies Sandbox, which will support modern digital business models.
The forum also witnessed several launches of products and services, as well as an accompanying exhibition that features more than 35 local technical products and Blockchain products of more than 30 local companies, as well as the announcement of 4 winning products with the Commission's Co-Innovation Award.