RIYADH, Feb 6 (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia has attracted greater than $9 billion in investments in future applied sciences, together with by U.S. giants Microsoft (MSFT.O) and Oracle Corp (ORCL.N), that are constructing cloud areas within the kingdom, a authorities minister mentioned on Monday.

Saudi Minister of Communication and Data Expertise Abdullah Alswaha mentioned Microsoft will make investments $2.1 billion in a worldwide super-scaler cloud, whereas Oracle has dedicated $1.5 billion to construct a brand new cloud area in Riyadh.

“The investments… will improve the dominion of Saudi Arabia’s place as the biggest digital market within the Center East and North Africa,” Alswaha mentioned at LEAP, a global know-how discussion board happening in Riyadh.

Alswaha didn’t give particulars on the timeframe. Oracle advised Reuters the funding will likely be revamped a number of years.

Saudi officers have pressed worldwide corporations to spend money on the dominion and transfer their regional headquarters to Riyadh as a way to profit from authorities contracts.

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The dominion has been pouring lots of of billions of {dollars} into an financial plan, generally known as Imaginative and prescient 2030, led by its de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Nevertheless it has struggled to draw overseas direct funding (FDI), one of many pillars of Imaginative and prescient 2030, which goals to diversify the economic system away from oil.

The minister mentioned China’s Huawei (HWT.UL) can even make investments $400 million in cloud infrastructure for its companies in Saudi Arabia and one other cloud area in partnership with oil big Aramco (2222.SE).

An extra $4.5 billion was invested in international and native property throughout a number of sectors on the discussion board, Alswaha added.

Tonomus, a subsidiary of the $500 billion signature NEOM venture of the crown prince, mentioned final yr it invested $1 billion in 2022 in AI, together with a metaverse platform.

Elevated demand for cloud computing has pushed know-how corporations equivalent to Oracle, Microsoft, Amazon (AMZN.O) and Alphabet’s Google (GOOGL.O) to arrange information centres the world over to hurry up information switch.

Reporting by Aziz El Yaakoubi; Enhancing by Sharon Singleton

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