January 01, 2015
The Economic Development Board (EDB) participated in the Gulf Information Technology Exhibition (GITEX) for the fifth consecutive year. The annual technology trade show took place at Dubai World Trade Centre in October 2014.
Launched in 1981, GITEX is the largest ICT event in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA). This year’s exhibition brought together more than 142,000 ICT professionals, 25,000 high-level executives, and over 3,700 exhibitors from 61 countries. The EDB was presented alongside Bahraini government and private sector institutions including the eGovernment Authority, Ahlia University, the General Organisation for Youth and Sports (GOYS), and the Bahrain Technology Companies Society (BTECH).
Ms. Vivian Jamal, Executive Director – Business Development at the EDB commented, “GITEX is one of the leading regional ICT sector events and ensuring a strong presence for Bahrain at such events is key to attracting inward investment in our burgeoning ICT sector.”
Boasting one of the most liberal and advanced ICT infrastructures and policies in the region, Bahrain has maintained its position in the top 30 economies in The Global Information Technology Report (GITR) 2014, produced by the World Economic Forum in cooperation with INSEAD, a report which provides an overview of the current state of ICT readiness in 148 economies.
According to the report, which was released in April 2014, Bahrain ranks 25th in terms of least costly access to ICT services, ranks 14th in uptake by individuals, one of the highest in the world, with a very high number of internet users, where Bahrain ranks 10th globally. Bahrain also ranks in the top 5 countries in the number of households with a personal computer, coming in at 3rd internationally. The Kingdom also has a strong vision to develop the sector, ranking 14th and offers a wide range of services online.
“With around 400 ICT companies present in Bahrain, 50 of which are specifically software companies, the transportation and communication sector contributed 6.9% to Bahrain’s GDP in 2013, and experienced a growth of 3.1% from 2012. We are keen to drive the sector to expand further. GITEX is an important regional platform to promote Bahrain’s ICT sector, alongside leading regional and international players,” Ms. Jamal added.
GITEX 2013 was a great success for EDB, with multiple activities carried out to promote the kingdom’s national economy and its investment environment.