Saudi Arabia, Microsoft ink technology training deal

US firm to train young Saudis and help Gulf kingdom grow nascent sector under new agreement
Saudi Arabia, Microsoft ink technology training deal
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. (Getty Images)
By Sarah Townsend
Wed 22 Jun 2016 01:46 PM

Saudi Arabia has signed an agreement with Microsoft under which the company will train young Saudi nationals and share expertise to inform the kingdom’s fledgling technology sector, it has emerged.

Deputy crown prince Muhammad Bin Salman signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Microsoft CEO Satya Narayana Nadella when the two met in Silicon Valley on Tuesday.

The deputy crown prince was in California this week as part of a week-long trip to the US.

As part of the trip, he is understood to have held meetings with US tech giants in Silicon Valley to forge new business relationships.

The kingdom wants to establish a high-tech sector as part of its Vision 2030 economic diversification strategy.

Under the knowledge-sharing MoU with Microsoft, reported Saudi media, Microsoft will train up young Saudis in computing technology, and it will also expand its systems support centre at Saudi Arabia’s royal court.

Nadella was quoted in Saudi Gazette as saying: “Microsoft will come out with technology to translate the Vision 2030 into a reality, with a focus on human capital and innovation, and we aspire to achieve it as early as possible.”

Bin Salmon was also reported to have signed an MoU with Cisco Systems intended to help improve the telecommunications landscape in the kingdom.

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