Saudi IT Minister says tech giants to invest more than $9 bln in Kingdom

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Saudi Arabia has attracted more than $9 billion in investments in future technologies, including by US giants Microsoft and Oracle Corp, which are building cloud regions in the Kingdom, a government minister said on Monday.

Saudi Minister of Communication and Information Technology Abdullah Alswaha said Microsoft will invest $2.1 billion in a global super-scaler cloud, while Oracle has committed $1.5 billion to build a new cloud region in Riyadh.

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“The investments... will enhance the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s position as the largest digital market in the Middle East and North Africa,” Alswaha said at LEAP, an international technology forum taking place in Riyadh.

Alswaha did not give details on the timeframe. Oracle told Reuters the investment will be made over several years.

The minister said China’s Huawei will also invest $400 million in cloud infrastructure for its services in Saudi Arabia and another cloud region in partnership with oil giant Aramco.

An additional $4.5 billion was invested in global and local assets across multiple sectors at the forum, Alswaha added.

Tonomus, a subsidiary of the $500 billion signature NEOM project, said last year it invested $1 billion in 2022 in AI, including a metaverse platform.

Increased demand for cloud computing has pushed technology companies such as Oracle, Microsoft, Amazon, and Alphabet’s Google to set up data centers across the world to speed up data transfer.

Read more: Second edition of LEAP technology conference opens in Saudi Arabia

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