Green light for crown prince-led Saudi privatization program

Updated 25 April 2018
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Green light for crown prince-led Saudi privatization program

  • The Privatization Program is one of 12 key elements of the Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030
  • The program is aimed at increasing job opportunities for Saudi nationals

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Council of Economic and Development Affairs on Tuesday approved the Privatization Program that is one of 12 key elements of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030. 

The program is aimed at increasing job opportunities for Saudi nationals, attracting the latest technologies and innovations, and supporting economic development.

It encourages both local and foreign investment in order to enhance the role of the private sector, with government entities adopting a regulatory and supervisory role. The aim is to increase the private sector’s contribution to GDP from 40 percent to 65 percent by 2030. 

The program will aim to reach its objectives through encouraging the private sector to invest in establishing new schools, universities and health centers, while the government pursues its organizational and supervisory role in health and education.

The privatization program aims to benefit from previous success stories, with the private sector’s collaboration in the development of infrastructure, and its involvement on a large scale in sectors such as energy, water, transport, telecommunications, petrochemicals and finance.

The program sets out a series of objectives in three areas: Developing a general legal framework for policies related to privatization; establishing organizational foundations and dedicated institutions to execute the policies; and setting a timescale for their delivery. 

The Council of Economic and Development Affairs is headed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.


Public cloud spending in KSA expected to reach $138.2m in 2018, says expert

Updated 5 min 2 sec ago
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Public cloud spending in KSA expected to reach $138.2m in 2018, says expert

  • Oracle Saudi has trained 40 co-op students from more than 35 universities
  • Oracle and the Misk Foundation will explore potential collaboration opportunities to create entry-level and professional training programs

RIYADH: The International Data Corporation (IDC), a global provider of market intelligence, estimates that public cloud spending in Saudi Arabia is expected to reach $138.2 million in 2018, said Abdul Rahman Al-Thehaiban, senior vice president for tech in Middle East and Africa at Oracle.
He told Arab News the IDC estimates that Saudi Arabia will spend $11 billion on information technology in 2018.
“These are encouraging trends and a clear sign of the government’s focus toward driving cloud-led digital transformation,” he added.
“Public and private sector organizations in Saudi Arabia have initiated major digital transformation initiatives and the focus is firmly on creating a digital infrastructure that enhances the fundamental competitiveness of the Saudi economy,” said Al-Thehaiban.
He said Oracle is also expanding its footprint in the Kingdom by introducing the latest cloud solutions; creating a robust support infrastructure; and implementing a series of programs and initiatives aimed at driving digital skills among Saudi youth to prepare them for the digital economy in line with Saudi Vision 2030.
Oracle’s memorandum of understanding with the Misk Foundation has gained big attention. It focuses on developing the IT skills of young Saudi nationals to prepare them for a career in the modern digital economy.
“Under this agreement, Oracle and the Misk Foundation will explore potential collaboration opportunities to create entry-level and professional training programs; offer internships; develop training material and help develop an active community of technology professionals for the sharing of best practices,” Al-Thehaiban said.
Oracle has been present in Saudi Arabia for nearly three decades. Its long-term commitment has translated into a massive investment to help organizations of all sizes, in the public and private sectors, to achieve strategic objectives with digital transformation.
“Saudi Arabia is a priority market for Oracle and over the past year alone, it has introduced applications based on artificial intelligence (AI) for finance, human resources, supply chain, manufacturing, commerce, customer service, marketing, and sales professionals. The new Oracle Adaptive Intelligent Apps are built into the existing Oracle Cloud Applications to deliver the industry’s most powerful AI-based modern business applications.
“Oracle has been experiencing strong customer demand for its cloud services in the region, which has led us to have data center facilities in Saudi Arabia very soon. With a focus on empowering organizations to move workloads to the cloud while keeping their data on their own premises, Oracle has launched the innovative cloud for customer solutions in Saudi Arabia,” he added.
Oracle has launched several initiatives in Saudi Arabia to develop new talents and engage Saudi youth, especially women, in the labor market.
“We have different programs such as an annual cloud internship program to encourage young Saudis to undertake a career in the IT industry; a graduate workforce development program, which focuses on developing marketable competencies of students and fresh graduates; and the Oracle Cooperative Training, a program that helps students to apply their academic knowledge in a practical ‘real-life’ environment which leads to graduation,” the Oracle official said.
“Since 2013, Oracle Saudi has trained 40 co-op students from more than 35 universities, and computer science in schools and universities. Oracle supports 30 Saudi educational institutions across 10 cities through which we are able to reach 70,000 students with the Oracle Academy program,” Al-Thehaiban added.