Saudi Arabia Unveils Investments During Inaugural LEAP Conference
With the launch of the LEAP Tech 2023 conference - the largest global gathering for technology and digitization developments – on Monday in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia unveiled investments exceeding $9 billion to support future technologies and emerging companies in the Kingdom.
More than 700 experts, scientists and specialized companies from around the world discuss the latest developments in virtual reality, creative economy, edutech, retail, Fourth Industrial Revolution, future energy, smart cities, fintech, and healthtech.
During a keynote speech at the event, Eng. Abdullah Alsawaha, Saudi Minister of Communications and Information Technology, announced investments worth $9 billion to support future technologies, digital entrepreneurship, and tech startups, in order to enhance the Kingdom’s position as the largest digital economy in the Middle East and North Africa region.
The minister underlined that Riyadh’s hosting of the LEAP 2023 conference confirms the great support of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to the digital and technological transformation journey, and his keenness to keep pace with the rapid developments in the world, in order to achieve the goals of Vision 2030 in promising sectors and future technologies.
Alsawaha noted that the investments included $400 million from Huawei for cloud infrastructure for its services in the Kingdom, $2.1 billion from Microsoft for a global superscalar cloud, $1.5 billion from Oracle to expand its business by launching new cloud regions in Saudi Arabia, and $1.1 billion for the opening of a Zoom cloud area in the Kingdom in collaboration with Aramco. He also pointed to global and local investments of $4.5 billion in various fields.
The Saudi minister said he hoped that the conference’s outputs would enhance the diversification of the economy and the localization of technology and advanced industries, noting that LEAP has become one of the most important annual global technological events that gather stakeholders, entrepreneurs and venture capital funds to open new horizons in new investment fields, and launch qualitative partnerships.
The first day of the conference witnessed the opening of the first Metaverse Academy in the MENA region by Meta, headquartered in Saudi Arabia, the launch of Hektar by WEO Technology and Camel Lab, a social media app with a variety of content, and the announcement of Beem by MENA Communication and STC, a new app with business features, high-quality voice and video calling, and instant messaging.