News Column

IT Geeks 'Key to Growth of Economy'

March 21, 2013

Ahmed Al Omari


IT geeks could be the key to developing the country's economy, according to experts.

Authorities should utilise the talents of young Bahrainis with a flair for Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), said Bahrain Technology Companies Societies head Ubaydli Al Ubaydli.

He said Bahrain should learn from countries such as South Korea, that makes almost a third of its gross domestic product (GDP) from the ICT sector.

He was speaking ahead of the Gulf Internet Week, which will held under the theme Electronic Talent.

The event, in its sixth year, is being organised by the Industry and Commerce Ministry in collaboration with the Bahrain Internet Society and the Bahrain Technology Companies Societies, and will be held between April 16 and 25 under the patronage of Industry and Commerce Minister Dr Hassan Fakhro.

"In the fast-progressing world of technologies it is businesses that are going the electronic way," said Mr Al Ubaydli.

"Businesses online cross borders, and thus the need for interactive electronic content is essential.

"Countries like South Korea are already making about a third of its GDP from ICT and Bahrain has the framework to become a hub in the Middle East."

As part of the week-long event, stalls will be set up in malls across the country to encourage young professionals to enter the field of electronics.

Ministry's e-commerce and Information Technology directorate acting director Zuhair Al Bahrani said Bahrain's ICT value was set at $103 million in 2012, but is expected to increase as more organisations and individuals go online to do business.

"Officials from the organising committee will also visit nine schools to deliver lectures on the topic to motivate them to take up electronics in education," said Mr Al Bahrani.

"According to a report released last week by the ministry, Bahrain's market at the end of 2012 was worth $103m -- which can improve if the country can tap into the sector by channelling the youth as a productive generation to further the country's economic status."

More details of the event will be announced closer to the date.

Source: (c)2013 the Gulf Daily News (Manama, Bahrain). Distributed by MCT Information Services.

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