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MEET ICT and BITEX to attract major firms

Al-Hujairi: ICT contribution to domestic product expected to rise up to 15%

Advisor of the Bahrain Technology Companies Society (BTECH), Ahmed Attiyatallah Al-Hujairi, said that contribution of the ICT sector in the gross of domestic product is expected to rise up to 15%, especially with the annual growth of the sector between 3 to 4 percent against the decline of the oil sector’s contribution to record levels.

This came in a statement by Al-Hujairi for the upcoming sixth edition of the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) conference “MEET ICT” and the Bahrain International Technology Exhibition (BITEX) to be patronized by the Transport and Communications minister, Kamal bin Ahmed Mohammed, and will kick off next January (4, 5 and 6) in the Gulf Exhibition and Conference Center.

“With the existence of more than 400 ICT companies in Bahrain, 50 of which mainly specialized in computer software, the ICT industry is to be the strongest candidate to fill a large part of the estimated two billion dollar budget deficit if oil prices settled at 50 dollars a barrel,” Al-Hujairi added.

Al-Hujairi explained that organizers of the events, “BTECH” and “WorkSmart”, seek to enhance the utilization of the Kingdom’s unique capabilities owned by the Kingdom of Bahrain in the field of attracting more regional and global investments in the IT industry such as the evolving legislation and the proximity of the Saudi market. “Foreign IT companies are fully aware of those features, that’s why we see a number of them are keen on participating in the conference and exhibition in every edition including giants companies from the USA, Japan and China. As well as Saudi and Egyptian companies, in addition to Bahrain’s participation,” he pointed out.

In this regard, Al-Hujairi praised the role of the Economic Development Board (EDB) and Labor Fund (Tamkeen) in supporting ICT companies, assuring that this support greatly helped in the Kingdom of Bahrain strongly to be ranked 30th globally in Readiness Index, according to the Global Information Technology Report issued by the World Economic Forum in cooperation with INSEAD last year. The report monitored the performance of 148 countries in the field of the development of the ICT sector and the extent of its contribution to the national economy.