Saudi Arabia has expressed its readiness and interest in increasing the share of Jordanian IT companies in its projects, Abed Shamlawi, CEO of the ICT Association of Jordan - int@j, said.
Saudi authorities in the ICT sector are very supportive of Jordanian IT companies and said they have high confidence in our companies capabilities in competing in major IT projects in Saudi Arabia, added Shamlawi, who was part of an official IT delegation which concluded a visit to Saudi Arabia last week. The visit was fruitful and the delegation held several meetings with Saudi officials from the ministry of communications and information technology, representatives of the national e-government programme, the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology and others, he said.
There is a huge opportunity to increase the presence of Jordanian IT companies in Saudi Arabia and we agreed to work on that, Shamlawi added. He noted that local IT firms will take part in a conference on e-government in Saudi Arabia this year, adding that they will share their expertise with Saudi peers and build partnerships.
The Saudi authorities promised to help in marketing our IT companies, Shamlawi told The Jordan Times, adding that another meeting will be held in early 2012, where Jordanian and Saudi IT companies will explore cooperation opportunities. Stressing that local IT companies should seriously market themselves in Saudi Arabia, he noted that the Saudi authorities asked for more engagement by Jordanian firms in projects in Saudi Arabia. We can work with Saudi Arabia and provide services in the fields of e-government, Arabic content, online gaming and mobile applications and eventually increase exports and commerce, Shamlawi said.
The Gulf state spends an average of $4 billion on IT annually, and Jordans market share amounts to only 2 percent, according to the int@j CEO. On average, Ammans 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.