ITIDA Organizes Egyptian-Hungarian ICT Business Forum to Forge Partnerships and Joint Investments

2 June 2024

The Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA) hosted the Egyptian-Hungarian Business Forum in Cairo, bringing together 19 leading Egyptian ICT companies, 13 Hungarian firms, and prominent Hungarian academic institutions.

The forum, led by Egypt's Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Dr. Amr Talaat, and Hungarian Minister for National Economy, Mr. Marton Nagy, aims at fostering collaboration and joint ventures in the ICT sector, paves the way for substantial bilateral projects and investments.

In his opening remarks at the forum, Minister Amr Talaat highlighted the crucial importance of collaboration between Egyptian and Hungarian private sector companies in the ICT field. He pointed out that these partnerships are key to successfully implementing ICT projects in both countries.

Talaat noted that a cooperation agreement between the two countries is planned in several fields, including cooperation in adopting the use of Generative Artificial Intelligence, Cyber Security, and Blockchain in various development sectors in both countries.

Talaat explained that Egypt has exerted a lot of efforts to promote the use of Artificial Intelligence, such as establishing the National Council for Artificial Intelligence, launching the National Strategy for Artificial Intelligence, as well as the Egyptian Charter for Responsible AI.

He added that the National Strategy for Artificial Intelligence has several pillars represented in building digital capabilities, creating innovative solutions using artificial intelligence, and achieving international leadership, in addition to setting up an AI governance framework and enabling computational resources.

Talaat affirmed that a citizen-centered strategy is being implemented, aiming to enable citizens to obtain distinguished government services at all stages and life events since birth, by providing multiple services through a single platform; pointing out that work is currently underway to rely on artificial intelligence in the development of government services provided to citizens.

Talaat pointed to the efforts exerted to attract international companies to invest in Egypt, and to leverage Egypt's competitive advantages, including its professional talent exporting digital IT services, through establishing and expanding offshoring centers. He noted that agreements have been concluded with international companies operating in the field of offshoring to recruit 60K specialists over 3 years; pointing out that the ICT sector is the highest growing among Egypt's state sectors, and its contribution to the GDP reached about 5%.

For his part, Mr. Marton Nagy, stressed the importance of cooperation in the field of communications and information technology due to its significant contribution to GDP growth, creating jobs, and achieving digitization, pointing out that SMEs also contribute majorly to the economy.

Minister Nagy noted that the areas of cooperation between the two countries include private sector cooperation between Egyptian and Hungarian companies, academic cooperation in the fields of ICT, and cooperation in adopting modern technologies such as blockchain technologies and artificial intelligence.

Mr. Marton Nagy pointed out that this forum is an opportunity to exchange experiences and knowledge, explaining that Hungary has expertise in the field of research and has a university for innovation. He stressed the importance of providing a digital infrastructure that can accommodate modern technologies, creating a legislative and regulatory environment to enable the private sector to shift towards digitization, as well as providing an artificial intelligence system not only for large companies but also for SMEs, to enable them to benefit from the possibilities offered by this technology.

Minister Nagy explained Hungary's strategy for artificial intelligence, which was adopted in 2020. Nagy also highlighted the most prominent indicators targeted to be achieved in 2030, aiming to increase the contribution of artificial intelligence to GDP by 15%, increase the productivity of Hungarian SMEs by 26%, and create one million new jobs related to artificial intelligence.

Nagy reviewed success stories of several companies working in artificial intelligence and the efforts of Hungary to support projects based on AI, in addition to the efforts exerted in implementing awareness programs and enabling citizens and businesses to take advantage of the possibilities offered by Artificial intelligence to drive innovation and enhance competitiveness.

Engineer Ahmed Elzaher, CEO of ITIDA, stated, "This business forum aligns with ITIDA's strategy to foster growth, expand market opportunities for Egyptian companies, and drive innovation in the IT sector. Our goal is to explore new opportunities, enhance cooperation between the two countries, and encourage investment in this sector to build a sustainable digital economy."

ELZaher highlighted that the forum serves as an ideal platform to showcase Egypt's capabilities in exporting IT services. He emphasized that Egyptian IT companies have extensive experience in the European market across various IT fields, including software development, support services, mobile applications, electronics' design and various engineering services, and business process outsourcing.

The forum featured a comprehensive review of the competitive advantages of the Egyptian ICT sector, emphasizing the highly qualified and skilled talent in various technology specialties, competitive business costs, and advanced infrastructure that fosters innovation and growth, along with continuous government support. These strengths solidify Egypt's position as a leading regional hub in Information Technology and as an attractive destination for global service centers.

The role of the Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA) was also highlighted, particularly its support for local companies, especially SMEs. ITIDA creates exceptional opportunities for networking and partnership, enabling these companies to expand into foreign markets.

Additionally, the forum showcased the business activities, products, and services of Hungarian companies, and included bilateral meetings between Egyptian and Hungarian companies to explore opportunities and build fruitful partnerships.

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