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Unlocking Potential: Saudi Arabia’s ICT Market Insights Revealed by Infinium Global Research

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In recent years, Saudi Arabia has demonstrated remarkable progress in modernizing its Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector. This transformation is driven by strategic initiatives from the Communication and Information Technology Commission (CITC), which has prioritized enhancing market competition through regulatory flexibility, transparency, and collaborative efforts. Notably, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) recognizes Saudi Arabia as a leader in the Arab State region, achieving a “generation 4” (G4) status in the ITU Global ICT Regulatory Outlook 2020. Within the Middle East and North Africa regions, Saudi Arabia stands as one of the largest markets for Information and Communication Technology. With its strategic geographical location, Saudi Arabia is well-positioned to emerge as a hub for technology services and cloud computing, boasting global connectivity access via the Red Sea, thereby serving markets in EuropeAsia, and Africa. As a G4 country, Saudi Arabia effectively integrates ICT regulation with a separate regulatory authority vested with enforcement powers. This authority operates with a clear mandate, overseeing a fully competitive market while safeguarding consumer interests under the “generation of regulation” model. Projections indicate that the Saudi Arabian ICT market is expected to experience a 5.6% growth in 2023, reaching a total value of $33.43 billion in 2022. This growth is predominantly driven by hardware expenditure, accounting for 58.5%, followed by services (30.4%), and software (11.1%).

More Insights on this report, Speak to Our Analyst: https://www.infiniumglobalresearch.com/contact-us

Key Business Opportunities and Factors Driving ICT Growth in Saudi Arabia:

  • Cloud Adoption Surge: Anticipate a robust migration to cloud computing, as organizations increasingly embrace Infrastructure-As-A-Service and Platform-As-A-Service solutions.
  • Emphasis on Edge Computing: Expect increased investments and collaborations in edge computing, facilitating the successful deployment of emerging technologies and use cases.
  • IT Services in the AI Landscape: IT services providers have the opportunity to design and implement innovative business models while effectively managing data and infrastructure.
  • Emerging Technology Integration: Witness a growing demand for industrial and intelligent automation, coupled with seamless integration with future technologies like IoT, AI, and Blockchain.
  • Green Data Centers: Anticipate a surge in green data center initiatives, data center consolidation efforts, and policy changes aimed at enhancing data center sustainability.

Driving Forces for ICT Growth:

Saudi Arabia’s ICT expansion is propelled by rising personal incomes and a growing pool of specialists committed to advancing leadership in connectivity and information technology. Additionally, the nation boasts a robust economy, political stability, a youthful demographic, and national policies that prioritize economic diversification. Factors such as increased foreign direct investment (FDI), a burgeoning ecosystem that supports ICT innovation and entrepreneurship, a thriving telecommunications sector, and a growing IT service industry collectively stimulate ICT investments in Saudi Arabia.

Investments:

Saudi Arabia is embarking on a new era of digital innovation, with ICT spending projected to exceed $34.5 billion this year, underpinned by significant foreign direct investment and a substantial $7 trillion development plan for the giga project. In 2023, the Saudi government is making noteworthy investments in key areas, including AI, IoT, cybersecurity, and data analytics.

In the realm of foreign direct investment, Saudi Arabia is incentivizing data center investments of $400 million, which create a minimum of 20 jobs with an average annual wage of $40,000, thereby qualifying for up to 30 years of tax savings.

Furthermore, as part of its commitment to digital transformation and preparation for the future economy, Saudi Arabia has unveiled investments exceeding $9 billion in its technology sector. These investments are spearheaded by a substantial $2.1 billion commitment from Microsoft to establish a super-scalar cloud infrastructure in the country, and Oracle’s $1.5 billion investment to fortify the kingdom’s cloud computing capabilities. Additionally, China’s Huawei is contributing $400 million to enhance Saudi Arabia’s cloud infrastructure.

The information and communication technology sector in Saudi Arabia are valued at SR134 billion, constituting 4.1% of the Kingdom’s gross domestic product (GDP), emphasizing its growing economic significance.

During the forum, the Communications, Space, and Technology Commission (CST) announced that the ICT market in Saudi Arabia surged to a value of 154 billion in 2022, establishing itself as the largest and most rapidly expanding digital economy in the region. Additionally, Dr. Altamini emphasized that CST has introduced high-speed internet services in 21,000 villages across the nation, addressing the needs of over 5 million people and ensuring uninterrupted communication services. This underlines the substantial progress in the Kingdom’s communication and technology infrastructure. Notably, 5G coverage in Riyadh has reached an impressive 53%, while exceeding 94% in other regions. The utilization of fiber optics has extended to 3.7 million users in Saudi Arabia, reflecting a dynamic shift towards advanced and high-speed connectivity solutions.

Opportunities:

The Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (MCIT) has been primarily focused on establishing a robust and advanced architectural framework to facilitate digital transformation across various domains such as e-commerce, smart cities, national data management, digital education, digital healthcare, and e-government. In line with Saudi Arabia’s ICT strategy for 2023, the objectives include generating more than 25,000 employment opportunities within the sector, achieving a 50% expansion in the IT market size and technology development, and increasing the sector’s contribution to GDP by $13.3 billion. The strategy also aims to attract international investments and promote the active participation of women in the field. According to the International Data Corporation (IDC), the Saudi ICT sector experienced an impressive 8% growth between 2019 and 2021, culminating in a total value of $32.1 billion.

In a move to bolster the resilience of the Supreme Audit Institution (SAI) through ICT solutions, the Saudi Fund for Improved SAI Performance (Saudi FISP) is facilitating the expansion and enhancement of ICT infrastructure. The Saudi Arabia General Court of Audit has generously allocated $1 million to be distributed among International Organization of Supreme Audit Institution (INTOSAI) members that require external assistance to advance their ICT infrastructure, thus fortifying the capabilities of these institutions.

Need Assistance? Send an Enquiry@ https://www.infiniumglobalresearch.com/contact-us

Vision 2030:

Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 is focused on the bolstering of the ICT sector with the goal of forging a digital society, digital government, digital economy, and a forward-thinking future for the Kingdom. Within this framework, the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (MCIT) establishes the groundwork for diversification and enhancing competitiveness. It revolves around three primary pillars, each delineating specific objective to be realized by 2030: fostering a dynamic society, fostering a prosperous economy, and shaping an ambitious nation via a well-crafted digital strategy, enabling a connected present and an innovative future.

Challenges:

Saudi Arabia encounters difficulties in both enlarging its domestic ICT workforce and attracting foreign talent. Moreover, sourcing local professionals with hands-on experience in cutting-edge technologies like cloud computing, mobility solutions, and cybersecurity proves to be a challenge. The nation also grapples with significant cybersecurity threats, further complicating its ICT landscape.

Main Players

  • IBM Middle East
  • Saudi Telecommunication company
  • Amazon.ae
  • Palo Alto Networks Saudi Arabian Limited Company
  • nybl

The post Unlocking Potential: Saudi Arabia’s ICT Market Insights Revealed by Infinium Global Research first appeared on The Blockchain Examiner.

The post Unlocking Potential: Saudi Arabia’s ICT Market Insights Revealed by Infinium Global Research appeared first on Hipther Alerts.

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China Targets Crypto Crimes in Metaverse & Blockchain

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The Supreme People’s Procuratorate (SPP) of China is targeting cybercriminals using blockchain and metaverse platforms for illegal activities amid rising online fraud and personal data infringement.

Deputy prosecutor-general Ge Xiaoyan reported a 64% year-on-year increase in cybercrime-related telecom fraud charges. While blockchain crimes are rising, traditional offenses like gambling and counterfeiting have also expanded into cyberspace. Charges for internet theft rose 23% while online counterfeiting surged 86%.

Between January and November, prosecutors pressed charges against 280,000 individuals in cybercrime cases, up 36% versus last year and constituting 19% of all criminal offenses.

Zhang Xiaojin, director of the SPP’s Fourth Procuratorate, warned citizens about investment scams in crypto, noting the rise of crimes using metaverse, blockchain, and binary options platforms. He said digital currencies have become hotspots for illicit activities.

China’s crackdown on crypto crimes differs from Hong Kong’s crypto-friendly regulations that aim to protect investors without stifling innovation. The People’s Bank of China stressed the need for coordinated global crypto regulation in its latest report.

In 2021, China officially banned crypto transactions and mining but remains a major mining hub despite the crackdown. The SPP aims to strengthen inter-departmental coordination in curtailing crypto adoption and cybercrimes involving digital assets.

Source: Crypto Times

The post China Targets Crypto Crimes in Metaverse & Blockchain appeared first on HIPTHER Alerts.

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Crypto Headlines of the Week: ECB Slams Bitcoin, Nigeria Blocks Exchanges

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The European Central Bank (ECB) has once again lashed out at Bitcoin, claiming that the recent approval of spot BTC ETFs changes nothing.

The central bank’s officials said Bitcoin’s fair value is zero, and the latest boom will spark massive collateral damage.

They claimed Bitcoin falls short in generating cash flow or other value-based returns, making it a poor investment.

While the ECB’s skepticism towards Bitcoin is not new, Nigeria is also growing skeptical of digital assets and crypto exchanges.

In an effort to crack down on currency speculation while the naira tumbles to record lows, Nigeria has ordered telecom companies to restrict consumer access to the websites of companies like Binance, Coinbase, and Kraken.

Here are this week’s important crypto stories:

ECB Slams Bitcoin Again
The European Central Bank (ECB) has reiterated its position on Bitcoin, stating that the approval of spot ETFs for the cryptocurrency does not change its unsuitability as a means of payment or investment.

“We disagree with both claims and reiterate that the fair value of Bitcoin is still zero,” the central bank wrote.

ETF approval for Bitcoin – the naked emperor’s new clothes (ECB Blog)

Kraken Files to Dismiss SEC Lawsuit
Crypto exchange Kraken has filed a motion to dismiss a November lawsuit from the Securities and Exchange Commission that accuses the firm of failing to register with the agency and commingling customer funds. The exchange contended that the SEC’s enforcement action came as retaliation for political speech.

Kraken moves to dismiss SEC lawsuit, citing retaliation from ‘a politically compromised agency’ (Fortune)

Nigeria Blocks Major Crypto Exchanges
Authorities in Nigeria have blocked access to some of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges as the government tries to crack down on currency speculation while the naira tumbles to record lows.

On Wednesday, the country’s telecom regulator ordered telecom companies to restrict consumer access to the websites of companies like Binance, Coinbase, and Kraken.

Nigeria blocks access to crypto exchanges in an effort to curb currency slide (The Financial Times)

FTX Cleared to Sell Stake in AI Startup
A US judge has ruled that bankrupt crypto exchange FTX may sell its shares in artificial intelligence startup Anthropic.

US Bankruptcy Judge John Dorsey in Wilmington, Delaware, approved FTX’s proposal to sell the shares after FTX reached a compromise in court with a group of FTX customers that had opposed the sale.

Crypto exchange FTX to sell shares in AI startup Anthropic (Reuters)

Jack Dorsey’s Block Gains Big From Bitcoin Bet
Fintech company Block has reported a remeasurement gain of $207 million on its Bitcoin holdings. As of December 31, 2023, Block held approximately 8,038 BTC for investment purposes with a fair value of $340 million.

The Jack Dorsey-owned company made $66 million in gross profit on bitcoin sales last quarter through Cash App, a banking services platform, representing a 90% increase year over year.

Jack Dorsey’s Block Is Sitting on $207M Gain on Its Bitcoin Bet (CoinDesk)

Reddit Now Holds Bitcoin
Social media platform Reddit has revealed investments in Bitcoin and Ethereum using some of its excess cash reserves. This was included in the SEC filings as part of its preparations for the company’s initial public offering (IPO).

Still, the exact amount invested in these leading cryptocurrencies remains undisclosed.

Reddit says it invested ‘excess cash reserves’ in Bitcoin, ether (Blockworks)

Crypto Super PAC Continues to Raise Funds
Crypto-friendly super PAC Fairshake received $6.8 million in funding last month, including $4.9 million from Gemini co-founders Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss. Fairshake has quickly become one of the most popular super PACs for crypto-friendly donors this election cycle.

Crypto Super PAC Fairshake Raised $6.8 Million From Winklevoss Twins and VCs in January (Decrypt)

Major ETF Issuers Talk About Crypto in Miami Conference
The discussion on the spot Bitcoin ETFs was the most well-attended panel of the entire Exchange ETF Conference in Miami Beach, Florida, so much so that the staff ran out of the headphones attendees were provided with to listen to the speakers.

Crypto no longer outsider at famed Miami Beach ETF conference (Fox Business)

Retail Investors Were Behind Recent Crypto Rally
Retail investors were likely responsible for the strong crypto market rally in February, JPMorgan said in a recent research report.

The bank said that the anticipation of “the bitcoin halving event, the next major upgrade of the Ethereum network, and the prospect of approval of spot ether ETFs by the SEC in May” attracted retail participation.

JPMorgan Sees Retail Traders Jump Back Into Crypto Markets in February (Bloomberg)

South Korean Province Collects $4.6M in Crypto Tax
South Korea’s most populated province, Gyeonggi, has collected $4.6 million from crypto tax evaders. Using a new system, the province found 5,910 people who owed more than $2262 each. The $4.6 million collected so far has been from only 2,390 people last year.

South Korean province implements digital system to track tax evaders’ crypto (Cointelegraph)

The Bottom Line
The ECB has reiterated its critical stance on Bitcoin, despite the recent approval of spot Bitcoin ETFs, maintaining that Bitcoin’s intrinsic value remains at zero. Meanwhile, Nigeria is taking steps to limit cryptocurrency engagement amid concerns over financial stability.

Source: Techopedia

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Bolstering Native Food Markets Through Blockchain

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The Allan Labor Government is helping to bolster the native foods industry by supporting Traditional Owners with new options to track and sell native foods through blockchain.

Around 70 native foods business practitioners attended the inaugural First Nations Native Food Blockchain Workshop at Healesville last week.

The workshop was delivered by the RMIT Blockchain Innovation Hub in partnership with Agriculture Victoria and the Federation of Victorian Traditional Owners Corporation (FVTOC).

Over two days, the workshop explored the potential for blockchain technology to support positive outcomes for Victorian Aboriginal native food businesses. The workshop also focused on ways in which blockchain can support and uphold Indigenous Cultural Intellectual Property rights for Victorian Traditional Owners.

Blockchain technology offers new abilities for data management and governance by enabling decentralised and tamper-resistant storage. It enables new and unique ways to further enable Aboriginal self-determination and data sovereignty for First Nations people within the native foods and botanicals industry.

The technology also offers a secure and transparent system for tracking product authenticity, with the ability to store and manage traditional knowledge and stories.

This workshop aligns with the objectives of the Traditional Owner Native Food and Botanicals Strategy, developed by the FVTOC and the Victorian Government in 2021, which laid out a plan to create a strong, authentic and sustainable bushfood sector.

Quote attributable to Minister for Agriculture Ros Spence

“This workshop provides more ways to help ensure Victorian Aboriginal native food businesses are equipped with the skills and technology they need to thrive.”

Quote attributable to Minister for Treaty and First Peoples Natalie Hutchins

“This is a great example of Aboriginal businesses coming together to drive a strong and sustainable native food industry and promote economic development.”

Quotes attributable to Gunditjmara Elder Professor Richard J Franklin

‘Blockchain unveils promising pathways for Aboriginal data sovereignty and community empowerment, crucial for uplifting our communities and ensuring improved outcomes.” “I am enthusiastic about the possibilities that blockchain holds, particularly within the native food and botanicals industry. Technology must be one of the many spearpoints we use in charting toward a tomorrow Australia.”

The post Bolstering Native Food Markets Through Blockchain appeared first on HIPTHER Alerts.

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