By Michelle Sturman
Local industry spokesmen say it is time to talk frankly about the obstacles holding back the development of e-commerce within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabian businessmen have greeted the upcoming E-commerce Saudi Arabia conference with enthusiasm, citing the need for a wider understanding of the issues before e-commerce can be a reality in the Kingdom.
The conference takes place May 6-9 and promises to be the largest e-business event held to date in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Confirmed speakers at the conference include guests as far afield as the United States, UK and Malaysia. The United Nations will also send representatives and the technology industry will be present in force.
The conference, which will be organised by Riyadh Exhibitions Company, was announced by heavy-hitters in the Saudi Arabian e-commerce game, including Dr Fawaz Alami, deputy minister for technical affairs, KSA Ministry of Commerce; Dr Abdullah Al Rasheed, VP of scientific research at KACST; and Khalid Al Gari, chairman of the organising committee.
The conference’s findings are expected to significantly influence the development of Internet, e-business and technology policies in the Kingdom.
“I am optimistic that sooner or later we will have e-commerce, an e-government, and it may not be our choice, we have to have it. But I don’t want to have e-commerce or e-government where I can’t trust it,” Abdullah Mohaisen, general manager for Al Alamiah, told itp.net.
“Before we are ready for e-commerce, we have to communicate in a proper way so that we can understand what are the pre-requisites, what are the requirements, for e-commerce to be tangible. STC has to move and they have to move quickly and do it right the first time. Maybe if we bring a consultant for e-commerce it is too early now. What we need is a consultant for the infrastructure,” he added.