Smith calls for Lebanon tech investment

Lebanon must develop a widespread IT infrastructure to attract inward investment — according to Stacy Smith, the vice president of Intel’s sales and marketing group.

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By  Patrick Phelvin Published  September 21, 2003

Lebanon must develop a widespread IT infrastructure to attract inward investment — according to Stacy Smith, the vice president of Intel’s sales and marketing group.

He says such an infrastructure would establish Lebanon as a key technology and financial hub, and give it the edge over other countries when seeking to attract investment from foreign companies.

Smith, also general manager of Intel Europe, Middle East and Africa, made the comments in the wake of the Termium 2003 technology exhibition, which he addressed on the opening day. He says a developed computer culture is one of Intel’s key considerations when considering where to build a new plant.

“We use lots of power, lots of labour and obviously study costs of production and political stability as a second step. But since our plants are infrastructure dependant, it is our main criteria for investing,” he says.

Smith says Intel has focused on the fast-growing emerging markets of China, India and Russia for development. But he believes the Middle East has huge opportunity for growth due to a low computer penetration rate. He says wireless could prove to be a cost-effective solution to Lebanon’s under-developed IT infrastructure.

“Wireless can dynamically reduce the cost of setting up the necessary infrastructure, and new wireless technology, which has not been released as yet, will soon allow whole cities to be covered by high connection speeds,” Smith adds.

Three wireless hotspots were recently installed at the American University of Beirut (AUB) and the Phoenicia and Movenpick hotels.

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