Saudi Arabia partners with Tech Giants to push ahead with Vision 2030
Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with technology giant Microsoft during the official Saudi delegation’s visit to the US last week.
The trip, which began in Washington and included stops in California, came as part of broader efforts to promote the Kingdom’s strategic technological and economic advancements.
Under this agreement, Microsoft will train emerging Saudi leaders in computing technology. In return, the Kingdom will welcome an enlarged Microsoft presence at its support centre in the Royal Court. “Microsoft will come out with technology to translate the Vision 2030 into a reality, with a focus on human capital and innovation, and we aspire to achieve it as early as possible,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said.
As part of the Kingdom’s pioneering Vision 2030 reforms, Saudi Arabia will expand scholarship and training opportunities to grow local innovation in advanced technologies. In order to increase the international competitiveness of the Kingdom’s economy, officials have stated, the nation will invest in digital and information technology as sources of job creation and knowledge-sharing.
In recognition of the dynamic global economy, Vision 2030 aims to improve the quality of life for all Saudis by ensuring that financial disturbances in the oil market do not affect those residing in the Kingdom. Economic diversification is a pillar of the national vision plan and basis of ongoing efforts to localize key technology endeavours.
Vision 2030 was promptly followed by the Saudi National Transformation Program, which strives to double information technology revenue as part of the country’s non-oil GDP and create 450,000 jobs by 2020. This unprecedented restructuring of the Saudi economy will leverage the specialized expertise that international partnerships offer.
The Deputy Crown Prince also signed an MoU with Cisco Systems in a campaign to develop a state-of-the-art telecommunications network in Saudi Arabia. He met with the Chairman of the California-based tech giant John T. Chambers and his executive team. Prince Muhammad was also briefed on the latest research in the telecommunications industry during the meeting.
The agreement with Cisco Systems will help develop the digital infrastructure in the Kingdom as part of the Vision 2030 reform plans, which set out a specific goal of improving high-speed broadband access in the Kingdom and provide housing coverage of 90 percent in densely populated cities and 66 percent in other urban zones.