Digitization expected to create half a million jobs in Saudi Arabia by 2020

Ahmed Al-Faifi
Updated 07 March 2017
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Digitization expected to create half a million jobs in Saudi Arabia by 2020

RIYADH: Half a million jobs are expected to be created by nationwide digitization by 2020, experts said regarding a report by The Economist Corporate Network.
Saudi Arabia faces a crucial juncture in its economic growth and youth employment. Through 2025, Saudi Arabia will see 226,000 new entrants into the labor market per year, with the Saudi working-age population reaching 17.9 million, according to the report “Shaping the Future of Work.”
“Digitization is the fourth Industrial Revolution, and the Saudi government has one of the world’s most ambitious plans for using digitization to boost employment,” said Ahmed Al-Faifi, managing director for Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Bahrain at future government enabler SAP, which works with 1,000 Saudi partners.
“Saudi millennials are the best-connected and best-educated generation in history, and partnerships across the public, private and academic sectors will ensure they are ready to take on the digital economy challenges of tomorrow.”
The National Transformation Program (NTP) aims to create 450,000 private-sector jobs by 2020. In response, experts are urging the Saudi government to adopt a digital career platform that can analyze employer and applicant data to connect workers to careers and job-training programs.
“By embracing Internet of Things innovations such as artificial intelligence, machine learning and block-chain, the government can match youth to careers, up-skill talent to meet business needs, and enhance regulations so employers can find the right people at the right time,” said Al-Faifi.
The Kingdom’s youth are well-positioned to meet government goals. Saudi youth rank second among their peers in the Middle East and North Africa in preferring private- rather than public-sector careers, according to the report.
Digitization is helping the government develop talent and foster innovations such as e-government services, digital patient records and e-learning.


Makkah to host 4-day economic forum starting March 23

Participants attend the Makkah Regional Economic Forum (MREF) in Jeddah in this May 6, 2018 file photo. On March 23, 2019, the second MREF will open with the theme "The Road to an Urban Future, Invest in Makkah." (AN file)
Updated 20 min 34 sec ago
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Makkah to host 4-day economic forum starting March 23

  • This year’s forum will focus on urban development, public services and infrastructure, transport and logistics, and innovation in Hajj and Umrah
  • Some of this year’s topics will be highlighted at next year’s G20 Summit hosted by Saudi Arabia

JEDDAH: Under the patronage of Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, the second Makkah Region Economic Forum (MREF) kicks off on Saturday at Jabal Omar Hotel.
The four-day event is organized by the Makkah governorate and the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, in collaboration with the Makkah and Taif chambers of commerce and industry.
Under the title “The Road to an Urban Future: Invest in Makkah,” this year’s edition will focus on four main topics: Urban development, public services and infrastructure, transport and logistics, and innovation in Hajj and Umrah. 
The MREF will also shed light on unique new investment opportunities in the Makkah region.
Hisham Al-Falih, head of the forum’s executive committee, said the MREF aims to encourage local and international business investments in the region’s development projects.
“The main themes to be discussed at this year’s edition … are designed to integrate with the economic issues that were discussed during the meetings of the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, which was held in January,” he said. 
Some of this year’s topics will be highlighted at next year’s G20 Summit hosted by Saudi Arabia, he added.
The main topics of the MREF’s panel discussions will include housing, hospitality, business development, and development of the Makkah region’s unplanned neighborhoods.
Last year’s edition offered investment opportunities worth more than SR280 million ($74.6 million) and attracted nearly 7,500 people, paving the way for major investment projects in the region. 
The first MREF saw the participation in panel discussions of eight ministers, a group of economic leaders and VIPs from around the world.