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Google CEO sees bright Saudi internet prospects

Kingdom has a big role to play in expanding Arabic content on the web, says Eric Schmidt.

March 16, 2010 6:52 by

Eric Schmidt, chairman and CEO of Google, said Monday that he was highly impressed by the Saudi economy, and predicted that the Kingdom would achieve tremendous technological advancement in the coming years.

Schmidt made this comment during talks with Omar Al-Dabbagh, governor of Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA). He also met with officials of Saudi information and communications companies.

“The world is witnessing rapid development in all areas as a result of new technological inventions,” said Schmidt.

The officials who met with Schmidt included Saud Al-Duwaish, CEO of Saudi Telecom Company, Azzam Al-Dakhil, CEO of Saudi Research & Marketing Group (SRMG), and Abdul Aziz Al-Tamami, CEO operations at Mobily.

The Google chief predicted that the Kingdom would have a bright future because of its large youth population. He said Arabic content on the web was expanding by the day. “The internet Arabic content will increase further due to the presence of a large Arab population estimated at 300 million,” he said, adding that Saudi Arabia would have a key role to play in expanding Arabic content on the internet.

Google International has two offices in Egypt and Dubai but no presence in any other Arab country. It has introduced Arabic language in its search engine and provides translation services from different languages to Arabic. According to statistics published in 2009, 48 million Arabs use the internet.

- Arab News

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