Egypt’s Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA) has taken part in the first virtual conference of the Global Technology & Business Services Council (GT&BSC).
The conference was held on 30 November-1 December, to uniquely gather 12 of the world’s premier global technology and business services associations.
It was inspired by the phenomenal response across sourcing partnerships around the world, amid challenges that arose due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The conference aims to collaborate in constructing a global vision for the industry’s future, and a series of monthly deep dive events will follow.
The conference comes under “one industry, one vision, truly global”, and marks the inauguration of a series of events.
ITIDA CEO Amr Mahfouz joined the “Global Response to COVID-19” panel, where he said that the pandemic took not only Egypt, but also the whole world, by surprise.
“Egypt was ready and adapted immensely well thanks to the huge investments made in developing the infrastructure, not only through the $1.6bn made in the ICT sector, but also in the power and energy infrastructure,” Mahfouz said.
This has enabled the country to show great resilience and adaptability, unlike many other countries in different regions, he added.
Egypt’s ICT sector has remained remarkably resilient, achieving a growth rate of 15.2% and around EGP 108bn of revenues, compared to EGP 93bn in the preceding fiscal year. The sector’s contribution to the country’s GDP was about 4.4%.
Mahfouz said that the country’s ICT sector has played a key role in lessening the impacts of the pandemic. It has also helped in avoiding service interruption, hiring talents from impacted sectors like tourism, while ensuring the safety of its employees through adopting new business models
Egypt has invested heavily in developing its digital capabilities, especially in freelancing and remote-work skills. This has enabled the services sector to remain resilient, meet the unprecedented demand, and increase reliance on digital services in all areas, Mahfouz said.
Demonstrated resilience amid the pandemic augmented Egypt’s global appeal for outsourcing and IT business services investments. It has also encouraged more demand from enterprises to choose Egypt as a technology hub offering outstanding global services
Mahfouz said that ITIDA extends its support to attract more investments in the coming period, drawing on the pandemic’s constructive experience for the ICT sector in Egypt.
The conference also witnessed the announcement of market insights from a report prepared by Everest Group, which outlines the main challenges facing companies in 2021.
The global research and consulting group listed that adapting to new business models, a slow down in decision-making, cost pressures, recovery from the pandemic, and talent shortage are foremost of the expected challenges.
The report emphasised that cloud computing and cyber-security services will be top priorities among digital businesses during the next period. Moreover, it pointed out that over 70% of the ICT sector’s companies still expect to achieve a financial performance that exceeds or meets the targeted prospects of 2020.
The GT&BSC, which ITIDA joined last July as a founding member, is an alliance of twelve international associations representing the technology and business services sector. It represents companies from across Bulgaria, the Balkans, the Czech Republic, Egypt, Germany, Hungary, India, Malaysia, Poland, Romania, Russia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, the UK, the US, and Ukraine.