- Egypt's Minister for Communications and Information Technology, Dr Tarek Kamel, says developing countries, like Egypt, can play the key role in helping the world economy out of the current recession.
Speaking at the ITU Conference in Geneva, and addressing leading industry and political figures from across the world, Dr Kamel made a strong case for investment into economies like Egypt that have an abundance of qualified human capital and strong growth potential.
"We must capitalise on this opportunity by working together," the minister said. "Cutting costs for global players is a given, but there is also a need to seize new growth models. Developing countries have the competitive advantages to support multinationals' strategies for operational cost reduction. But we can also help make the world's companies more efficient, whilst creating new jobs that themselves will stimulate more economic growth for the wider global economy," he added.
There is also a strong need for content creation in the developing world according to Dr Kamel. "We have been investing in infrastructure for the last ten years, but it is important to recognise that the best business opportunities now, and in the future, are in value-added services such as data and multi-media content. In many developing markets this sort of content is in its infancy. It is therefore going to be equally important for investors in these areas to come into the developing world and establish their content development centers."
The Egyptian minister also stressed the need for ICT to be placed as a national priority on the development agendas of emerging economies. "Our experience in Egypt of placing ICT as a key building block in our overall national growth plans, has paid back both economically and socially. I would urge all my colleagues around the world to make this an urgent top priority."
Dr Kamel was speaking at a panel discussion on the first day of the ITU Telecom event in Geneva entitled "ICTs for Economic Growth".
Egypt has strengthened its position as one of the world's fastest growing outsourcing destinations through a number of international MoUs and investment in the country's ICT infrastructure and education.
The Egyptian overall economy expanded by 4.7 percent in the fiscal year through June, fuelled by the expansion of its information and communications technology industry which grew by 14.6 percent.
Egypt has been highly aggressive over the past decade in delivering on major infrastructure, bandwidth, educational and telecommunications projects to drive increased interest in companies looking to establish major global service delivery centers in the country.
Currently, companies such as Microsoft, Vodafone, Teleperformance, Wipro, SQS, Valeo and Alcatel all have offices in Egypt's Smart Village, a 600-acre technology business park in Cairo. Work has also begun on the first of three buildings in the 'Maadi Contact Centre Park' in Cairo scheduled to be completed in 2012.
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