Minister of Communications and Information Technology Amr Talaat witnessed via video conference the launch of Egypt’s 2022-2026 digital strategy for the outsourcing industry.

The launch included the participation of more than 120 international and local companies and a wide range of CEOs and leaders of specialised companies and outsourcing service providers.

Talaat said that the ministry held discussions with leaders of the communications and information technology industry to open new horizons for work to develop and promote the sector’s growth, pointing out that Egypt has many competitive advantages that enhance its ability to achieve global leadership in the outsourcing industry due to its distinguished location in addition to the abundance of young cadres who possess linguistic and digital skills.

He explained that over the past months, cooperation has taken place with experts to identify Egypt’s opportunities in the global market for the outsourcing industry, which resulted in the launch of this strategy. He also expressed his aspiration to cooperate with local and international companies operating in the sector to achieve further growth in the industry locally.

Talaat also referred to the efforts made by his ministry over the past four years to enable the state’s sectors to achieve digital transformation, in addition to the projects it is implementing to develop communications infrastructure as well as investing in building people through a huge set of training programmes that meet market needs.

Furthermore, the technical training budget has increased 22 times over the last three years, while the number of trainees has increased 50 times to reach 200,000 during the current FY 2021/22 with a budget of EGP 1.1bn.

He also pointed out the keenness of the ministry to provide technical training in partnership with private sector companies and prestigious academic institutions to transfer practical experiences to Egyptian youths and prepare cadres, who are the main pillar for building a knowledge economy.

Talaat also confirmed that the communications and information technology sector is the highest growing among the state’s sectors with a growth rate of 16%, and it constitutes 5% of the country’s GDP and is set to reach 8% within three years. He noted that Egypt ranked first in the Middle East and North Africa and 15th globally in the Global Service Locations Index issued by the Kearney global consultancy for 2021. The volume of investments in the emerging technology companies sector also increased by 170%.

The Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA) developed the strategy in cooperation with the global consulting firm Ernst & Young based on a thorough and objective study of the Egyptian market in parallel with measuring and monitoring the growing demand in the global market for cross-border services, which is expected to amount to about $540bn with an annual growth rate of 8-9% until 2026.

The new strategy includes three main pillars: Developing the capabilities of human cadres, developing the ecosystem for industry, and developing international marketing and promotion for Egypt.

Together, these pillars include nine major initiatives that achieve the desired goals, the most important of which is achieving a breakthrough in the Egyptian exports of cross-border services with an estimated annual growth of 19% and the creation of approximately 215,000 job opportunities during the period of implementation of the strategy.

CEO of ITIDA Amr Mahfouz presented the results of the study carried out by the authority and the pillars of the new strategy. Mahfouz explained that the strategy was prepared in a way that contributes to enhancing trust and credibility with main industry partners through careful monitoring of the industry’s cost structure and comparing it with other competing countries, which contributed to the formulation and development of more effective programmes and incentives and the ability to attract investors.

He pointed out that the authority was keen during the formulation of the strategy to take into account the creation of dense job opportunities horizontally in parallel with building the capabilities of the Egyptian state in the field of specialised high-value services, creating a global position for Egypt and promoting it in the fields of artificial intelligence, data analysis, embedded software, designing electronic chips, and encouraging investment in these domains.

The strategy includes a set of incentives and programmes specifically designed from the investor’s perspective, aiming primarily to improve the competitiveness of the total cost of the outsourcing industry in Egypt compared to competing countries instead of attracting foreign direct investment and encouraging the expansion of existing investments.

The strategy also includes qualitative programmes and initiatives to hone the skills of young people and workers in the outsourcing industry to ensure building capacities and competencies at a professional level in line with the requirements of the international labour market and in accordance with the standards of multinational companies in the various sectors of the industry according to the needs of each geographical region and the most requested languages, thus contributing to bridging the skills gap.

Additionally, the meeting witnessed wide discussions, as the attendees raised a number of inquiries about ways to activate the strategy. Also, a number of local and international companies operating in Egypt expressed their desire to learn about how to benefit from the strategy and the mechanisms for obtaining new incentives as well as access to skills and qualified young cadres.

Egypt is one of the fastest-growing destinations for outsourcing services in the world and is considered a pivotal centre for providing such services and supports the growth of the businesses of hundreds of international companies. It is also a preferred investment destination among decision-makers in the field of cross-border customer services.

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