Lebanese IT industry eyes Saudi market
Lebanese Information Technology (IT) companies aim to target the largest IT market in the Middle East with their participation at Gitex Saudi Arabia, to be held from April 21 to 25, 2002 in Riyadh. The Lebanese pavilion will be exhibiting at the show under the umbrella of the Professional Computer Association (PCA) of Lebanon.
The Investment and Development Authority of Lebanon (IDAL) will also be participating at Gitex for the first time, in order to highlight the Lebanese Government’s support for the IT industry. IDAL is expected to launch a series of initiatives alongside the event to promote the Lebanese pavilion at the show.
“Our objective is to highlight Lebanon’s regional standing in the IT industry offering cost-effective technologies to the Arab World through enhanced regional exposure, branding and awareness of its products,” said Michel Kilzi, in charge of the Lebanese pavilion on behalf of PCA.
“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia represents more than 40 percent of the IT market in the Middle East market with annual growth rates exceeding 20 percent in key sectors such as communications, Internet applications, POS systems and mobile computing, making it the biggest market in the Gulf. Our participation in this exhibition will give the Lebanese software developers an excellent opportunity to target this fast growing segment,” Kilzi added.
Many Lebanese IT companies will be participating at Gitex Saudi Arabia to introduce software to the Kingdom. Software Design will launch its Visual Dolphin, which uses Client/Server architecture under Microsoft SQL database and takes advantage of Visual Basic features. ACT plans to introduce its Graphic Information Systems (GIS) maps for all cities in the Arabian Gulf. Internet Facilities will also be launching new software products at the exhibition.
The IT sector in the Middle East has seen a phenomenal growth in recent years. A study undertaken by the International Data Corporation (IDC) reveals that IT spending in the Middle East region will be more then $4.6 billion in the year 2002 with a significant part of this attributed to the expanding market in Saudi Arabia.
“There is considerable demand for Arabic and multi-lingual software in Saudi Arabia as business houses and professional organizations automate and web-enable their operations,” said PCA member Michel Nseir.
He added that “the Lebanese IT industry has a competitive edge over its competitors in Saudi Arabia because of the deep-rooted ties of culture, tradition, language and history that exists between the two countries. Our expertise in Arabic software and our knowledge of the Kingdom market allows us to offer cost efficient and industry targeted applications at better terms, than those offered by developers in Europe, India or the Far East.” — (menareport.com)
© 2002 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)