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Saudi Arabia is on course for economic growth driven by rising demand for broadband Internet, smart devices, mobile financial services and sophisticated telecom services, says the country’s telecoms provider, Saudi Telecom Company (STC).



Large emerging markets like Saudi Arabia are becoming the new global growth engines as their telecom industries drive economic growth, says industry analysts in the run-up to GITEX Technology Week 2012 taking place from October 14-18 at Dubai World Trade Centre.

According to research firm RNCOS, overall IT spending in Saudi Arabia is expected to reach US $5.7 billion by the end of 2014, up from $3.5 billion in 2010. RNCOS has also identified growth potential in smartphones, Internet Protocol Television (IPTV), WiMax and security software markets, as well as rapid growth in 3G and broadband over the next few years. This potential is demonstrated by the country’s total mobile phone penetration rate of 198 per cent during 2011 with scope to increase beyond 200 percent, according to Saudi investment company Aljazira Capital.

“Countries with a healthy, competitive telecoms environment have managed to attract high levels of foreign direct investment and Saudi Arabia is the largest telecoms market in the GCC, strongly positioned to benefit from the next wave of growth opportunities following liberalisation of the sector in recent years,” says Dr Khaled bin Abdulaziz Al Ghoneim, CEO of STC Group. “Economic development is enabled through securing efficient employment, attracting foreign direct investment, consistently innovating and having a stable macro-economic growth - the telecommunications industry plays an important role to stimulate this economic competitiveness,” he adds.

“Businesses and consumers are demanding faster and more immediate connectivity at an increasing rate, which is driving innovation and growth in Saudi Arabia’s ICT sector,” says  Trixee Loh, senior vice president at Dubai World Trade Centre, organiser of GITEX. “The demand for this connectivity has driven significant investment, directly and indirectly contributing to the economic performance of the country as a whole through job creation, advertising, SME support and the connection of businesses,” she adds.


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