German software maker SAP expects to generate new business in the Middle East as a result of Saudi Arabia’s “Vision 2030” plan, a senior executive at the company told CNBC.
There is a big push toward cloud computing in Saudi Arabia, according to Luka Mucic, chief financial officer at SAP.
“Companies both in the private sector as well as in the public sector are really looking for the agility that you can gain in the cloud, to quickly adopt new business processes, new applications,” he told CNBC’s “Capital Connection” on Monday.
Last year, SAP said it was launching a cloud hub in the country by partnering with the Saudi Ministry of Communication and Information Technology. The goal of that project is to help with Kingdom’s digital goals, the company said.
The project will unfold over a period of four years and include the establishment of a public cloud data center in the country, an open platform for local developers, and a center to support Saudi start-ups and other companies.
Vision 2030 was formulated by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to overhaul the country’s economy and make it less dependent on oil. The plan includes a greater focus on technology, including a network of data centers.
Last month, Saudi Arabia signed memorandums of understanding with U.S. companies including Google, Raytheon and J.P. Morgan Chase. Social media platform Snap is also reportedly in talks to set up shop in the Kingdom.
China now SAP’s third-largest market
Mucic said SAP is seeing growth in China after investing “billions of euros” over the last five-to-six years and building distribution a well as research and development capacity in the country.
“We have seen tremendous high double-digit growth in China as a result of that,” he said, adding the country made “more or less into the number 3 spot of our global markets worldwide.” The Middle East is one of the top six markets for the firm, Mucic added.
He explained that he isn’t worried about SAP getting caught in the crossfire amid ongoing trade tensions between the United States and China.
“SAP is a global firm,” he said. “One of our core strengths is that we’re active, and we have a leading position in virtually all mature, but also emerging, markets.”
Operating in many markets at the same time prevents any one of them from having too great of a negative effect on the company, he said.