ICT Indicators Forum discusses digital transformation

Panelists are seen at the annual ICT Indicators Forum held by the Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) in Riyadh on Wednesday. (SPA)
Updated 22 March 2019
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ICT Indicators Forum discusses digital transformation

RIYADH: The annual ICT Indicators Forum held by the Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) in Riyadh on Wednesday, discussed the impact of digital transformation on the education, health and finance sectors.
Ministry of Health Undersecretary for e-Health Ahmed Belkheir said that technological development is making it easier for beneficiaries to access health care.
Ministry of Finance Undersecretary for Technology and Development Ahmed Al-Suwaiyan said that 55,000 people from the public and private sectors used the ‘Etamad’ platform, which offers competitions and tenders, last year. He said that number is expected to double in 2019.
Talking about digital technology’s impact on education, General Supervisor of e-Services in the Ministry of Education Abdullah Al-Bahdal said that the ‘Noor’ system manages more than 5 million student records, and provides secondary services including certificates, admission, registration and lesson planning.
The forum also included a number of panel discussions on the most important digital trends in the Kingdom, in addition to an exhibition showcasing the latest solutions in digital transformation, and applications of artificial intelligence.


High-level investment forum aims to further boost business between Saudi Arabia and Japan

Updated 11 min 43 sec ago
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High-level investment forum aims to further boost business between Saudi Arabia and Japan

  • Japan is one of Saudi Arabia’s most important economic partners

TOKYO: More than 300 government, investment and industry leaders on Monday took part in a high-level gathering aimed at further boosting business opportunities between Saudi Arabia and Japan.

The Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) welcomed key figures from the public and private sectors to the Saudi-Japan Vision 2030 Business Forum, held in Tokyo.

Hosted in partnership with the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), the conference focused on the creation of investment opportunities in strategic sectors of the Kingdom. Delegates also discussed key reforms currently underway to enable easier market access for foreign companies.

Speaking at the event, Saudi Economy and Planning Minister Mohammed Al-Tuwaijri, said: “Today’s forum is a testimony to the success of the strategic direction set by the Saudi-Japanese Vision 2030 two years ago, which seeks to drive private-sector involvement, both by partnering with public-sector entities.”

SAGIA Gov. Ibrahim Al-Omar said: “At SAGIA, we have been working on creating a more attractive and favorable business environment in Saudi Arabia, which is making it easier for foreign companies to access opportunities in the Kingdom.”

Japan is one of Saudi Arabia’s most important economic partners. It is the Kingdom’s second-largest source of foreign capital and third-biggest trading partner, with total trade exceeding $39 billion.

JETRO president, Yasushi Akahoshi, said: “Saudi-Japan Vision 2030 has made great progress since it was first announced. Under this strategic initiative, the number of cooperative projects between our two countries has nearly doubled, from 31 to 61, and represents a diverse range of sectors and stakeholders.”

Since 2016, the Saudi government has delivered 45 percent of more than 500 planned reforms, including the introduction of 100 percent foreign ownership rights, enhancing legal infrastructure and offering greater protection for shareholders.

As a result, the Kingdom has climbed international competitiveness and ease-of-doing-business rankings, with foreign direct investment inflows increasing by 127 percent in 2018 and the number of new companies entering Saudi Arabia rising by 70 percent on a year-on-year basis in the first quarter of 2019.