As Saudi Arabia seeks to turn itself into a Middle East center for technology and innovation, global IT companies such as Apple and Microsoft have said that they will be opening training academies in the Kingdom. Other multinational corporations, including Google, Amazon, Oracle, IBM, and Cisco, said they would help provide software development and coding training, Minister of Communications and Information Technology Abdullah Alswaha said.
The Kingdom announced a series of programs worth more than $1.2 billion in August to improve Saudi schoolchildren’s digital skills. By 2030, the goal is to train one coder for every 100 Saudis.
By 2030, the goal is to train one coder for every 100 Saudis
Saudi Arabia has been increasing its pressure on foreign companies to relocate their Middle East bases to the country. In February, a Saudi official announced that starting in 2024, the Saudi government and state-backed institutions will ban signing contracts with global corporations that have their Middle East headquarters in any other country in the area.
“Companies that will move their headquarters to the region will be given preference towards government contracts and quasi-government companies”
“Companies that will move their headquarters to the region will be given preference towards government contracts and quasi-government companies,” Alswaha explained, adding there is “active discussion” with Microsoft, Cisco and other tech corporations. “We’re pretty confident that soon you will hear announcements in that field.”
Trend Micro, an American-Japanese cybersecurity software company, and OneMT, a Chinese gaming company, have announced that they will open offices in the Kingdom. In addition, Google and Alibaba have agreed to form a regional cloud company.