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Asharq Al-Awsat
Asharq Al-Awsat
Riyadh - Asharq Al-Awsat

Saudi-Greek Partnership to Link Global Digital Economy through Data Cable

The signing ceremony of a Greek-Saudi agreement (Asharq Al-Awsat)

Saudi Arabia and Greece have revealed a strategic partnership between the private sectors in the two countries to work on a cable project that will ensure the smooth digital supply of data worldwide at a time when data traffic is growing by more than 30 percent.

The partnership was announced during the official visit of Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman to Greece on Wednesday to hold and expand partnerships between the two countries in several fields.

The partnership comes through the leadership of the Saudi Telecom Company (STC) in the East to Med Data Corridor (EMC) project in collaboration with the Greek Telecom Company, the Greek General Energy Company, and the Cyprus Telecom Company.

The agreements will boost the Kingdom's position as a regional digital hub in line with Vision 2030, as Greece is the eastern data gateway to the European Union.

The project aims to position the two countries as an eastern digital station for Europe to reach the Middle East, Africa, and Asia, and the submarine cable comes as part of Greece's strategic digital transformation plan.

It is also part of the Kingdom's ambitions to consolidate its position as a digital hub center at the regional and global levels by taking advantage of its advanced digital infrastructure, its developed cadres and institutions, and geographical location, which allows it to become an international digital hub center by linking East and West.

The project, if completed, will contribute to accelerating the growth of the global digital economy, which is estimated to reach $15 trillion, and supporting new industries and emerging markets based on innovative business models.

Notably, the geographical position of the Kingdom and its many ports have already qualified it to be a center of attraction for the digital economy and investment, as about ten percent of the global capacities of submarine cables pass through the Saudi territory.

Meanwhile, STC Group announced that Mena Hub, a premier digital hub, partnered with Greek telco TSSA to build the EMC undersea and land fiber optic data cable to link Europe with Asia.

The new project demonstrates STC's goal to provide ever-increasing global connectivity and data center capacity to the markets of Asia, Europe, and the rest of the world through Saudi Arabia, which sits at the geographic heart of these key economies.

With increasing digital connectivity comes the need to protect businesses and companies. Sirar, STC's cybersecurity arm, handles and addresses the current and future requirements as they arise.

STC Group CEO Olayan al- Wetaid noted that this vital signing represents another validation of the execution of the DARE2.0 strategy as "we build out our complete digital ecosystem at expanding scope, increasing scale and accelerating pace."

"We are pleased to be building our integrated system even further for the benefit of our clients and customers, as we look to further establish our digital credentials and contribute to Vision 2030 and become a leading digital company and regional digital hub linking three continents,” Wetaid said.

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