It is the ideal time for investment in the Middle East’s lagging digital sector, notwithstanding the low oil prices. It has also been noticed that the Western trend towards protectionism could either help or hinder the region.
“This has kept me awake over the last few weeks, the developments back home in the UK and also now in the US,” said Jigar Patel, the partner leading Digital McKinsey in the Middle East, and co-author of the firm’s report Digital Middle East: Transforming the Region into a Leading Digital Economy.
Dr Jan Peter aus dem Moore, associate partner at McKinsey & Company said in a statement: “US companies felt before it was very easy to serve to global market out of the US base, in terms of data centres, etc. but depending on how trade relations, how regulations shift, one risk mitigation strategy for them is to say, ‘Let’s build up more of a diverse global footprint,’ in a way becoming less dependent on the political evolution in the US alone, which actually can be an opportunity for the region to attract some of that”.
The management consultancy’s report provides a detail analysis of the current state of the region’s ICT sector as well as suggest strategies to play to its strengths and coast up its weaknesses.
The report also showed that consumer adoption of digital technologies in the UAE, Bahrain and Qatar is greater than in digital leaders such as Europe and the US. Also the UAE’s digital take-up is high in both business and government. Bahrain and UAE adopted digitisation as a core strategy.