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Oman’s tech sector sees RO60mn injection

27 May 2024 Oman’s tech sector sees RO60mn injection By OUR CORRESPONDENT

Muscat – The 33rd edition of the COMEX Global Technology Show opened in Muscat on Monday heralding significant technological advancements and investment pledges exceeding RO60mn on the first day.

The event, presided over by H H Sayyid Theyazin bin Haitham al Said, Minister of Culture, Sports and Youth, is seeing the participation of over 100 local and international tech institutions.

Organised by OITE in collaboration with the Ministry of Transport, Communications and Information Technology (MTCIT), the exhibition – running until May 30 – aims to foster digital investments, as it displays cutting-edge technologies and electronic services.

H E Dr Ali bin Amer al Shidhani

H E Dr Ali bin Amer al Shidhani, Undersecretary for Communications and Information Technology in MTCIT, highlighted the National Programme for Digital Economy’s objective to increase the digital economy’s GDP contribution from 2% to 10% by 2040.

This ambitious goal is supported by eight executive programmes for sectors such as digital industry, artificial intelligence, e-commerce and cybersecurity, the undersecretary informed.

“Since the launch of the National Programme for Digital Economy in October 2021, the information and communications technology sector has seen investments of over RO1bn (US$2.5bn),” stated H E Shidhani.

He noted that these investments have primarily enhanced communications technologies, data processing, and cybersecurity.

He also underlined the significant increase in the value of agreements and projects announced at this year’s COMEX compared to the previous year, with new initiatives aimed at developing technical infrastructure and supporting the digital economy through the Omani Investment Authority.

The opening ceremony was marked by several key agreements that will boost Oman’s digital infrastructure. These agreements include the establishment of the largest national data centre by Oman Data Park and Middle East Information Systems Company at US$25mn in the first phase; a strategic partnership between Omantel and Google to set up a regional centre for edge cloud services at RO2mn; and another significant agreement with Amazon Cloud Services to create a sovereign cloud service centre and an integrated e-commerce platform in Oman at a cost of RO24mn.

An agreement was also signed among MTCIT, ITHCA Group and Nortal Company, to develop and design the Unified National Portal for electronic government services.

H E Shidhani informed that MTCIT is set to launch several high-value projects, including the Omani Linguistic Model and the Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, in collaboration with the World Economic Forum.

Additional initiatives include the Unified National Portal for Government Services and the Special Technology Zone for Startups.

Amr Baabood, CEO of OITE Group, appreciated the role that the COMEX exhibition was playing in showcasing contemporary digital transformation opportunities for over three decades.

“This event plays a crucial role in enhancing understanding of rapid global technological advancements and their impact on economic diversification,” Baabood said.

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