Saudi Arabia has revealed plans to invest more than $6.4 billion in future technologies and entrepreneurship in order to cement the kingdom’s position as the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region’s largest digital economy.
The announcements were made at LEAP22, the new international technology event taking place in Riyadh.
The investments and initiatives comprise the launch of Aramco Venture’s Prosperity7 fund with $1 billion and a billion-dollar investment from NEOM Tech & Digital Company with a focus on future technologies.
As part of its investment, NEOM announced the launch of the world’s first cognitive metaverse, XVRS, which will serve residents and visitors of the smart giga-project, as well as M3LD, a personal data management platform that returns data control to the user.
stc announced MENA HUB, a $1 billion investment in regional connectivity and infrastructure, which will boost Saudi Arabia’s rapidly expanding digital and cloud sector.
The Garage, a new platform for startups, investment, and entrepreneurship, was launched by King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) as part of LEAP22.
“These investments and initiatives are a manifestation of the Kingdom’s push toward the growth of the digital economy for the greater good of people, the planet, and the prosperity of the MENA region. They mark the next level of growth for the digital economy in Saudi Arabia, the MENA region’s largest technology and digital market,” said HE Eng. Abdullah Alswaha, Saudi Minister of Communications and Information Technology.
Indonesia-based leading logistics company, J&T Express Group has announced an investment of $2 billion with eWTP Arabia Capital and other partners, to establish its MENA headquarters in Riyadh, and develop an extensive network of smart logistics in Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia’s technology sector is worth more than $40 billion. “The new investments announced at LEAP22 are part of the Kingdom’s ongoing plans to transform into an innovation-based economy, which have already seen the country become one of the fastest-growing new markets for Fintech and digital content in the region,” as per the statement.