Vision 2030

The Kingdom's evolving role

Mazen al-Sudairi

Published: Updated:

It is no secret to any observer that one of the Kingdom’s most important roles in contributing to global growth is the role it plays as the country that hosts the Two Holy Mosques and the Qibla of Muslims, hence its cultural role in rejecting religious extremism and intolerance.

As a huge oil producer and through OPEC, the Kingdom also plays an economic role in achieving a balance that helps the oil industry develop and recover, without hindering the renaissance of consuming countries.

However, the Kingdom is currently seeking to play yet another role, which is to be a hub for the digital and information technology industry in the global race for growth and power in this sector. Suffice it to see how the US is closely monitoring the size of data that China could get in the future, as it is expected to exceed the US by 58 percent in 2029, with 48.6 zettabytes, which is nearly one-third of the world's data, according to the International Data Corporation. Data is the fuel that is driving innovation, creation, and strategies, which is why China plans to equate Artificial Intelligence productivity to a quarter of its economy, according to PwC.

Today, the Kingdom is trying to build a creative environment that appeals to major companies for training, attracting talent, establishing funding channels for entrepreneurial activities, and, most importantly, creating a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship. Such a culture was the driver of economic renaissance in the US, through entrepreneurs whose century-old companies are still involved in financial markets today.

With the increasing complexity and development of the innovation and technology industry, an expedited renewal of legislation and policies is necessary in order to maintain a smart and creative environment that attracts minds and investments. This is what happens when states prioritize the tech industry.

The technology industry is the future, as proven by the recession of key traditional sectors due to technological progress. Even financial markets such as S&P have reduced the weight of the energy and banking sectors to below 15 percent given the sweeping rise of the tech industry.

This article was originally published in and translated from Saudi newspaper al-Riyadh.

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