The information and communication technology (ICT) sector’s contribution to the Saudi GDP reached SAR 146.9 billion ($39 billion) during the past year, with predictions it could reach SAR 200 billion ($53 billion) in 2022, a recent report revealed.
Published by the Research and Information Center of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Riyadh, the report revealed that the ICT sector’s contribution to the Kingdom’s GDP in Q1 2021 reached 5.48%.
Moreover, the report shed light on the digital economy’s contribution to global GDP, which amounted to about 15.5%, including the most important investment opportunities provided by the sector in the fields of e-commerce, tourism, smart cities, education, human capital and innovation.
The report emphasized that Saudi Arabia has a strong digital infrastructure. It stressed that the Kingdom has accelerated its process of digital transformation, which contributed to facing crises that disrupt all services in the public and private sectors.
Infrastructure readiness also contributed to the continuity of business, education and all the requirements of the daily life of citizens and residents in light of the coronavirus pandemic, ranking the Kingdom among the top 10 developed countries in the world due to its robustness in digital infrastructure, the report added.
It said the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology aims to raise the digital economy’s contribution to the GDP in the coming years to more than 19 %, compared to 5.48 % in 2021.
Saudi Arabia has witnessed clear steps in the efforts to expand its economic base and keep pace with the qualitative transformations driven by digital acceleration around the world, added the report.
It made several recommendations to achieve the Kingdom's goals in the digital economy during the next stage.
Most notably, it recommended providing safer applications to protect customer data, paying attention to technical education in the field of networks and cybersecurity, as well as establishing electronic industries inside Saudi Arabia to keep pace with global technology, reduce import costs and create job opportunities.