Bahrain EDB highlights role of ICT in economic growth, vision 2030
“The ICT sector is not just an important sector in its own right, but an enabler of continued economic growth, innovation and competitiveness,” Kamal Ahmed, Chief Operating Officer of the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB), said today at the Cisco Networkers Bahrain 2010.
His comments came on a panel of global business leaders, who earlier today addressed over 2,000 ICT professionals from around the world. The session focused on the merits of ICT to help drive economic growth, through the development of new products and competition in other sectors, and by providing the tools for training and skills development.
“What we call Vision 2030, our plan for the future, will improve the lives of all Bahrainis and ICT will play a major role in this: to enable continued private sector growth, support further diversification of the economy and, ultimately, elevate national living standards by creating greater opportunities for Bahrainis,” he said.
“In recent years we have worked hard to expand high value added service industries in Bahrain, and incorporate higher levels of technology. These service industries include a logistics industry based on a new and modern port, the causeway to Saudi Arabia and within a few years the causeway to Qatar. They also include an expanded finance industry, and a private education sector attracting students from around the region.”
Commenting on the event’s theme, “Knowledge is Power”, which reflects the important role ICT plays in education and training, to provide a relevant, highly skilled and competitive workforce, he added: “Bahrain has a growing young population eager to learn and exploit new technologies and provide us with the skilled ICT workforce of tomorrow. We also recognise our role to nurture and encourage additional export orientated industries to assure career opportunities for an increasingly well educated, flexible and skilled Bahraini workforce.”
Cisco Networkers Bahrain is taking place this week at the Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir, from 28 to 31 March 2010. It is the first time the industry-accredited networking forum has been hosted in the Middle East. The Kingdom of Bahrain is one of the Gulf’s technological pioneers; it was the first country in the Middle East to install a computer (1978); completely digitise its national international phone switches (1992); hold an online referendum (2001); introduce smartcards (2005); fully liberalise its telecommunications market (2004); and to go nationwide with WiMax wireless networks (2007).