Vibrant ICT sector 'crucial for growth'
Manama, April 10, 2014
The greatest invention of the modern era was the telegraph as it allowed instant communication over vast distances for the first time in human history, Al Hilal Group chairman Anwar Abdulrahman said.
Speaking at the opening of the inaugural iTECH Gulf 2014 Forum and Exhibition yesterday (April 9), Abdulrahman said Bahrain's population of 1.3 million supported a vibrant telecommunications and information and communications technology (ICT) sector.
"ICT will contribute around $372 million to Bahrain's economy this year and is part of a sector that accounted for roughly seven per cent of national GDP," he was quoted as saying in the Gulf Daily News, our sister publication.
"The energy of telecoms sector can be attributed to the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA), generally recognised as one of the most progressive in the Gulf region.
"The good news for consumers and businesses alike in Bahrain is that the TRA continues to look for ways to ensure competition in the fast-growing fixed and mobile broadband market," he added.
Bahrain's latest communications development policy - the third national telecommunications plan - recognises the socio-economic importance of broadband and focuses on improving the performance and affordability of broadband services, he said.
"The plan makes provision for improved and affordable international connectivity, more high speed broadband for businesses and consumers and includes measures to prevent misuse of communications and protect critical infrastructure."
This policy, he said, was the cornerstone of a wider vision for Bahrain to become the IT and ICT hub for the region. "For this sector to continue to grow, it is vital we encourage quality forums.
"The more IT and ICT-related events Bahrain hosts will add to a growing knowledge interchange," Abdulrahman said.
"This will, in turn, drive thought and technological leadership at a local level. Society can benefit greatly if each company champions one major social cause than a range of micro initiatives.
"Encouraging private sector growth is fundamental to a vibrant IT economy in the long term," he said. The two-day event is positioned as the IT and ICT convention of choice for the Northern Gulf. – TradeArabia News Service