Public, private entities 'vital for Qatar ICT growth' |
Gulf Times - 18 June, 2012
Qatar’s ICT market, which grew by more than 20% in 2010-11, is expected to maintain the momentum in the coming years, a senior official said.
Further development of Qatar’s ICT sector requires the involvement of both public and private entities, said Ali al-Khulaifi, ictQATAR’s ICT market development manager.
He said the National ICT Development Strategy recognises that the government can play many roles in fostering growth, including the role of direct developer, facilitator and even financier.
“Balancing these possible roles with the interests and capacities of the private sector and individual investors is the key to the success of our strategy,” al-Khulaifi said at the ICT Investment Forum here yesterday.
Qatar’s information and communication technology (ICT) sector is growing rapidly, creating a wide range of investment opportunities in the country, ictQATAR or the Supreme Council of Information and Communication Technology said.
ictQATAR presented its assessment and analysis of these ICT investment opportunities, along with its National ICT Development Strategy at the forum.
In his opening address, ictQATAR assistant secretary general (shared services) Faleh al-Naemi praised HH the Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani for his leadership in driving Qatar’s economic and social progress.
“I believe the Qatari economy will continue its positive momentum as a result of the multi-sector developmental path outlined by the National Development Strategy. Qatar’s ICT sector is positioned at the core of this sustained economic and societal development, both as a driver and enabler of economic development,” he added.
The ICT Investment Forum brought together leaders from across segments that have an interest in developing Qatar’s ICT sector, including policy makers, corporations, small and medium enterprises, investors and regulators.
The forum’s objective was to raise interest in investment opportunities in the ICT sector and to facilitate collaboration among the different entities with a stake in its development.
The ICT Development Strategy identifies specific ICT development and investment opportunities in Qatar over the coming three to five years. The strategy’s aim is to develop the required ICT capabilities in Qatar, while also identifying areas for innovation, expansion, and marker differentiation for the country.
The strategy takes into account the impact that major infrastructure projects such as the new Doha Port, Lusail City and FIFA 2022 initiatives will have on the growth of the ICT sector, as well as other key differentiators inherent in Qatar’s ICT market that make it prime for development, including a world-class ICT infrastructure, availability of financial resources, and business-friendly laws and regulations.
The ICT Development Strategy included a comprehensive assessment of investment opportunities in the country with some 68 distinct areas of investment opportunity being identified.
Seventeen of these are considered priority opportunities, both in terms of potential value and benefit to the country’s continued development.
Abdulaziz al-Khalifa, Qatar Development Bank executive director (strategic planning & control) said, “QDB is committed to supporting the ICT Development Strategy. We believe in its aspirations. I am glad to announce that all the 68 opportunities outlined today will receive a pre-approval to our Al Dameen loan programme, subject to ictQATAR’s endorsement on a detailed business case of the undertaken opportunity.”
“Breakout sessions were held on a number of the prioritised investment opportunities, facilitating deeper discussion. Some of the areas addressed were digital content, e-commerce, integrated data management and smart systems. To keep the momentum, ictQATAR will conduct a regular quarterly market review to ensure that identified opportunities are being pursued, and will also promote the opportunities that have not yet been pursued,” a release said.