Jordan is looking to increase its share in Saudi Arabia's information technology market, which has huge potential for future growth, according to the ICT Association of Jordan int@j.
"Saudi Arabia is an enormous market in the region and there is huge spending on IT services. Jordan already exports several IT services to Saudi Arabia, but we believe our share is still modest," Abed Shamlawi, CEO of int@j, told The Jordan Times over the phone on Monday.
"Currently, we are trying to focus on expanding in Saudi Arabia," he said, noting that the Gulf state spends an average of $4 billion on IT annually, and Jordan's market share amounts to only 2 percent. An official delegation from the IT sector will visit Saudi Arabia later this month to meet with senior IT officials to explore ways to increase Jordan's exports and its share in the IT market, he said.
On average, Amman's exports to Riyadh in the IT sector stand at about $80 million annually, and include software, IT services such as outsourcing, e-content, maintenance and programming, according to Shamlawi. There is potential for cooperation in the fields of health, education and government services as well, he noted. The Kingdoms IT sector revenues are expected to drop in 2011 for the second year in a row due to current turmoil in the region, int@j said recently. IT revenues reached $731.8 million in 2010, of which $529.5 million were domestic revenues and $202.2 million were in exports, according to int@j figures, which also indicated that total IT revenues dropped by 15 percent in 2010 compared to 2009.
According to int@j figures, 34 percent of Jordans IT exports in 2010 went to Saudi Arabia, 13 percent to Iraq, 13 percent to the UAE, 7 percent to the US, 5 percent to Oman, 4 percent to Palestine, 4 percent to Egypt, 3 percent to the Netherlands, 2 percent to Qatar, 2 percent to Sudan, while the rest were to 34 other countries.