Arab News, Saturday, Mar 18, 2023 | Sha'ban 26, 1444
stc signs multiple MoUs to boost localization of ICT sector in Saudi Arabia
In a move to increase the production of
local content, Saudi telecom service provider stc signed a number
of new strategic agreements with domestic companies during the Public Investment
Fund's Private Sector Forum held in Riyadh on March 14-15.
Aimed at supporting
sustainability efforts, stc signed the first agreement with Ebttikar,
which provides recycling services and the preservation of raw materials.
Another deal it signed during the forum was
with Holoul to provide smart solutions for conference rooms and private
"We signed the two contracts with local companies.
One of the contracts is related to improving
the environment through stc refurbished products. The second is related to
developing an office automation environment solution, which will take us to the
IoT investment. And this is really something that we will see
soon. Hopefully, it will be localized and then it
will go abroad," Emad Alaoudah, group chief shared services officer at stc, told
He explained the cooperation is an extension of
the group’s efforts to support local content in the Kingdom, one of the main
pillars of Saudi Vision 2030, which aims to maximize its contribution and enable
it to create quality products and services.
During the forum, stc also
introduced a “partner hub” platform that will open up wider investment
opportunities for suppliers while supporting the establishment of new industries
and the localization of existing ones.
"These contracts and the previous contract that I
mentioned created an ecosystem today worth SR13 billion. This is the commitment
that we put into the local markets since we started the Rawafed program years
ago," Alaoudah said.
Rawafed was launched in 2018 by stc with the aim
of developing sustainable local content and contributing to the national gross
domestic product in the information and communications technology sector.
"Within the Rawafed program, we have created also
an ecosystem where we try to localize some of the supply chains that we have in
Saudi Arabia and also export it to the region and to the North of Africa," he
Alaoudah stressed that they understand the
importance of concerted efforts by major Saudi
companies to provide opportunities that enable entrepreneurs and local small and
medium enterprises to raise their efficiency, "which will reflect positively on
the business sector in the Kingdom."
He explained that stc wanted to highlight the
Kingdom's ICT industry through the Rawafed program, through a series of
workshops and partner hubs during the forum.
"This program is really focused on developing the
local content. This will be through four major areas. One of them is
R&D (research and development). Second is developing the capability of the
young generation and the ICT industry. The third will be supporting the small
and medium organizations that we have. And fourth, really to localize the
manufacturing inside Saudi Arabia" he said.
In 2022, Rawafed invested SR5 billion into the
national economy, raising annual domestic spending by SR13.4 billion, which
contributed to the program reaching a rate of 40.75 percent in the local content