ISLAMABAD: Saudi Arabia’s Small and Medium Enterprises General Authority (Monsha’at) will work with Pakistan to support its IT companies and startups to scale their businesses in the Kingdom, Caretaker IT Minister Umar Saif announced on Sunday.
Established in 2016, Monsha’at aims to regulate, support, develop, and sponsor the SME sector in Saudi Arabia. According to its website, the authority is mandated to develop and support programs and projects that foster a culture of self-employment, entrepreneurship, and innovation.
Pakistan’s IT minister is in Saudi Arabia with a delegation of tech companies to explore business opportunities in the Kingdom. Saif wrote on the social media platform X that he visited Monsha’at’s office in Riyadh and met the authority’s Governor Sami Ibrahim Alhussaini.
“Monsha’at is mandated to support small and medium companies in Saudia, and they will be working with us to support Pakistani IT companies and startups to scale their businesses in Saudia,” Saif wrote.
The minister also visited the office of the Digital Cooperation Organization— a multi-nation body that works toward the growth of the digital industry— in Saudi Arabia and met its secretary-general, Deemah AlYahya.
He said Pakistan would host the Digital Direct Foreign Investment summit every year for all DCO member states.
“We will be working with DCO for a ‘digital passport’ for Pakistani companies which will enable them to quickly start a business in DCO member countries, starting with Saudia,” Saif wrote.
During an exclusive interview with Arab News earlier this week, Saif said the Gulf countries were a highly attractive market for Pakistani IT firms, many of whom were already engaged in projects in the region.
“We are working to market Pakistan as a place from where a lot of technical expertise can come for projects in the GCC region,” he said.
The minister added that during his visit to the Kingdom, the Pakistani delegation will also receive updates on the $100 million Saudi-Pakistan Tech House project announced earlier this year, which aims to strengthen strategic partnerships between IT firms in both countries.