Riyadh:- Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030 is keen on supporting the information technology sector, being of promising potential to drive economic growth.
The National Transformation Program (NTP) has worked to create an appropriate environment for sustainable digital transformation and Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies and expand and upgrade e-government services to include justice, medical, educational and other services.
The NTP has also supported digital entrepreneurship, investing in technologies, spreading digital awareness, and training highly qualified national cadres to drive digital transformation.
As per the program's 2022 report, more than 6,000 digital government services are available, constituting 97 of the entire gamut of government services.
The Kingdom has made significant strides in global digital benchmarks, having secured 31st place globally in the United Nations e-Government Development Index for 2022. Furthermore, Saudi Arabia clinched the top position in the Middle East and North Africa region for the availability and development of digital government services in Government Electronic and Mobile Services Maturity Index (GEMS), in 2021, which is issued by the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA). The Kingdom was the most improved country as a digital government, having surged 23 places from the preceding year, as per the Japanese Waseda University Index for 2021.
The NTP's initiatives have been instrumental in advancing the Kingdom's communications infrastructure. Mobile internet speed has hiked to 181.24 Mbps, while the fixed internet speed has reached 109.83 Mbps. The 4G wireless broadband coverage has exceeded 98%, and 5G services have been available in 84 governorates across Saudi Arabia.
In the European Center for Digital Competitiveness' report on Competitiveness Progress 2021, Saudi Arabia came in second among G20 countries, advancing eight positions in the global ranking of the most competitive countries.
The report highlighted several accomplishments in the Kingdom's endeavors to establish a robust digital sector that attracts investments. The NTP has introduced and developed policies and legislation supporting digital transformation, such as the personal data protection system, the digital government policy, and the communications and information technology system approved in 2022. These measures have helped reinforce the Kingdom's position as the fastest-growing and largest digital economy in the Middle East and North Africa.