Saudi Arabia needs to invest in its digitally-ready population to leapfrog into the digital economy, according to a top executive at Huawei.
According to Saudi Arabia’s General Authority for Statistics, 69 percent of the population is 35 years old or younger.
Safder Nazir, senior vice-president of digital industries at Huawei Middle East, said that “What you’ve got in the kingdom is a great option to leapfrog ahead in the digital economy as it has great technologies”
“But unless people are using them and able to innovate using those and come up with new ways of developing businesses and transforming industries, then we’re not going to be able to fulfill the promise,” He added.
Other advantages Saudi Arabia has are its quick adoption of 5G and its promotion of smart cities, supported by new technologies, said Nazir.
He also believes Saudi Arabia is very well positioned with its rapid use of 5G as it will push the digital economy and AI.
“All the data that comes into the cloud platform and with the use of AI and multiple types of algorithms, we can then do smart use cases,” he explained.
As an example, five years ago, Huawei talked about doing smart parking, using street sensors.
“But today, we’re deploying smart parking, using video in the Kingdom. That is computer vision. This is the kind of enhancement that we’ve seen over the last few years,” he added.
This kind of innovation allows Huawei to show the capacity of its portfolio from phones through to 5G and fixed connectivity.
“By showing the use of AI, we will be bringing a Huawei cloud region into Saudi Arabia, as well as our enterprise business,” said Nazir.
This will lead to the digital transformation of all industries, “from healthcare to airports, to the electric grid and so on,” he said.