Saudi to invest $US68billion in ICT sector by 2024

According to Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA), the Kingdom's top investment body, Saudi Arabia expects to invest a whopping US$882 billion by 2024 of which US$68 billion would be pumped into Information and communication technology (ICT) sector.

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By  Maddy Reddy Published  December 31, 2003

According to Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA), the Kingdom's top investment body, Saudi Arabia expects to invest a whopping US$882 billion over the next 20 years of which more than US$68 billion would be pumped into Information and communication technology (ICT). The huge investments are part of the Kingdom’s move to balance its revenue sources and reduce dependence on oil reserves. Of the US$882 billion, a substantial part, US$142 billion would go into the energy sector (oil & gas) while the rest would be channeled into IT, telecommunications, electricity, infrastructure, farming, housing and services. In the ICT sector alone, over the next two decades by 2024, more than 220 billion Riyals (US$58billion) in the telecom sector and 40 billion Riyals (US$10.6billion) into the IT sector are expected to flow in. SAGIA, which is headed by chairman Prince Abdullah bin Faisal bin Turki, a member of the Saudi royal family revealed the investment plans at a recent investment conference. The Kingdom, which controls nearly 25% of the world's recorded oil deposits, currently is estimated to have more than six trillion cubic meters of oil reserves expected to last a few decades going by current consumption levels. More Arab countries headed by Saudi, UAE are diversifying from oil revenues into other sectors like IT, tourism, exports and boosting non-oil investments to dilute their dependence on oil revenues, which accounts for over one-fifth of the total Arab gross domestic product (GDP). Saudi Arabia is the largest IT spender in the Middle East region, and is expected to spend more than US$2billion by 2004, according to IDC estimates.

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