ITIDA talks up Egypt

Egypt’s leading IT companies are out in force at GITEX Saudi Arabia with a mission to further strengthen ties between the region’s two fastest-growing markets.

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By  Andrew Seymour in Riyadh Published  April 16, 2007

Egypt’s leading IT companies are out in force at GITEX Saudi Arabia with a mission to further strengthen ties between the region’s two fastest-growing markets. The Egyptian contingent has been brought over by the Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA), a non-profit government organisation that promotes the interests of national IT companies. “We were created with the mandate to develop the ICT sector and increase the export of products and services in the IT sector,” explained Wael Morgan, international exhibitions manager at ITIDA and a member of the eight-strong delegation team that the Egyptian Ministry of Communications and IT has flown over to Riyadh. “Participation in international events is a major part of what we do and we are in charge of organising the Egyptian presence in many IT events. We believe KSA is a strong potential market for Egyptian companies due to the language and cultural commonality between both countries,” he added. This is the fourth year that an ITIDA Egyptian pavilion has exhibited at GITEX Saudi Arabia. 19 firms are showcasing their skills in areas such as software development, telecoms, VoIP, multimedia and e-learning. There are also three Egyptian IT providers participating independently at the show, helping swell the Egyptian presence to twice the size it was last year. Morgan reveals that one of ITIDA’s main priorities is to establish Egypt as a primary outsourcing destination for organisations in Saudi Arabia. “We are seeking to expand relationships in Saudi and focus on building Egypt’s image as a potential outsourcing market for IT,” he said. “In Egypt there are a lot of people working in the IT sector as well many graduates. Our salaries are much lower when it comes to labour, which is why there is huge potential for companies to outsource to Egypt. It is much cheaper than other countries. The distance between Egypt and Saudi Arabia is only two hours by plane and that also means it is much easier for companies to monitor what they have outsourced,” he added. According to Morgan, a recent study on the top potential outsourcing locations by consulting specialist AT Kearney ranked Egypt as number 12 in the world. He claims that ITIDA is bidding to ensure that the country occupies a top-four position in the next few years.

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