The revenues from telecommunications services also amounted to about 70 billion Saudi riyals ($18.66 billion) in 2017, according to a statement in Arabic emailed to Zawya by the Saudi Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC).
The sector also contributed around 6 % to the Kingdom’s GDP and 10 % of its non-oil GDP, with large investments from both the public and private sector, the statement added.
The report also says that the volume of spending on telecommunications and information technology services in the Kingdom reached more than 136 billion Saudi riyals ($36 billion) last year.
The ICT sector in Saudi Arabia has been attracting investment interests from various big technology companies.
According to Bloomberg reports last November, SoftBank Group plans to invest as much as $25 billion in Saudi Arabia over the next three to four years as the Japanese company run by Masayoshi Son deepens investment ties with the kingdom.
The Public Investment Fund (PIF) Programme (2018-2020) was launched in October 2017 as part of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 Vision Realisation Programmes (VRP). The four key objectives underpinning the programme include growing and maximising PIF assets; launching new sectors; localising advanced technologies and knowledge; and building strategic economic partnerships. It aims to increase assets under management to over $400 billion by 2020.
2017 also saw His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Crown Prince, Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the Public Investment Fund (PIF), announcing the launch of NEOM. NEOM is born from the ambition of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 to see the country develop into a pioneering and thriving model of excellence in various and important areas of life. NEOM aims to thrive the transformation of the Kingdom into a leading global hub through the introduction of value chains of industry and technology.