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Saudi Arabia: $13 Billion of Investments in Telecommunication Sector | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Governor of CITC Abdul Aziz al-Ruwais (Asharq Al-Awsat)

Riyadh – Saudi Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) revealed on Wednesday that the capital investment in the telecommunications sector is likely to achieve new growth in the coming years. The commission estimated investments currently to be around $13.3 billion.

Saudi Arabia has one of the world’s highest vital rates in approving and developing legislations, which serves the non-oil sector and strengthens its role in boosting the economy.

Based on Vision 2030, the Kingdom is seeking a post-oil era.

Saudi telecom sector is about 6% of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), and it constitutes at the same time about 10% of the GDP of the non-oil sector.

CITC held a conference in Riyadh entitled: “Enhance Investment and Industry Trends” with the participation of private and public sectors.

Governor of CITC Abdul Aziz al-Ruwais said that communications and information technology sector in Saudi Arabia is about $48 billion, while the capital investments in the sector reached more than $13.3 billion.

Speaking at the conference, Ruwais predicted that spending on telecommunications services and information technology would reach $36.8 billion by the end of 2017 due to the large public and private sector investments.

The governor stressed that “National Transformation Program 2020” (NPT) is one of the main programs and support to achieve Vision 2030.

Ruwais considered the communications and information technology sector the most important pillar of NPT.

He pointed out that the Commission recently prepared a strategic plan that aims to raise the telecommunications and information technology sector to international levels as well as providing outstanding services to subscribers, adopting the concept of unified licenses, and promoting networking and information security.

CITC conference had three sessions on Wednesday which discussed the future of telecommunications and information technology sector and regulatory environment, investment opportunities in the ICT sector, and promote and protect competition.

On the sidelines of the forum, the governor stressed that the Saudi telecom sector is undergoing a developing stage.

Concerning virus “Shimon2” which the authority warned of, CITC confirmed that it constantly communicates with the authorities to provide such warnings, in case of cyber-attacks.

CITC revealed that the number of Internet users in the country reached 21.6 million by the end of 2015.