UAE and Greece sign deal to advance development of digital infrastructure - GulfToday

UAE and Greece sign deal to advance development of digital infrastructure


Officials signing the Memorandum of Understanding.

The Ministry of Investment of the UAE and the Ministry of Digital Governance of the Hellenic Republic have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to create a framework for investments in digital infrastructure with a focus on data centre projects in Greece.

The agreement was signed by Mohamed Hassan Alsuwaidi, UAE Minister of Investment, and Dimitris Papastergiou, Minister of Digital Governance of the Hellenic Republic.

Data centres to be developed under this agreement can reach a total capacity of 500 megawatts. The data centre market in Greece has witnessed significant growth in recent years, largely driven by the country’s Digital Transformation Strategy 2020-2025, which aims to facilitate the transformation of companies across the Hellenic Republic into digital enterprises and incorporate digital technologies across its economic sectors.

Projections indicate that Greece’s data centre market will reach $1.218 billion by 2028 from $735 million in 2022, growing at a compound annual growth rate of approximately 9 percent.

With 15 data centres, Greece is set to expand its data infrastructure with an additional 139 megawatts of power capacity from new data centres planned for development over the next five years. This positions the country to become the largest data hub in Southeast Europe and the second largest in the Mediterranean by 2028.

Furthermore, Greece benefits from a network of over ten submarine cables linking the country to crucial global markets, further reinforced by multiple inland internet exchange points, resulting in significantly enhanced connectivity, reliability and an increased appeal for businesses seeking efficient and dependable data exchange.

The MoU between the UAE and Greece focuses on forging effective collaboration by building relationships between public and private organisationss. The agreement additionally proposes the implementation of incentives to support pertinent initiatives and aims to facilitate the exchange of knowledge.

Alsuwaidi said, “The signing of this agreement strengthens the growing bilateral economic ties between our two nations and denotes a shared vision that recognises the crucial role of technology and data processing in shaping a digital economy. The planned investments in data centre projects in Greece are set to contribute to the country’s rapidly growing digital infrastructure and provide businesses with additional opportunities to reap the benefits of digitisation.”

Papastergiou, in turn, commented, “Greece is on track to implementing the government’s strategic priority in establishing the country as a technological leader in the SE European region. The Ministry of Digital Governance is committed to fulfilling the Prime Minister’s vision of making Greece an attractive innovation hub, open to investments and geared towards flourishing the local technological ecosystem through strategic partnerships.”

He added that the agreement signed today is a testament to the government’s commitment to solidifying Greece as a hub for international data transfers, multiplying the impact of technological innovation on the country’s development trajectory while strengthening international collaboration.

The MoU was signed against the backdrop of a growing strategic partnership between the UAE and Greece. In 2022, the two countries announced a EUR 4 billion ($4.2 billion) fund to invest in the Greek economy. This was succeeded by a notable surge in non-oil trade between the nations, with a value of nearly $572 million in 2021, reflecting 67 percent growth compared to the previous year.

Meanwhile Omar Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy, and Remote Work Applications, engaged in discussions with global leaders in the technology sector at the 54th annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland earlier.

The session, titled “Harnessing Artificial Intelligence Technologies for Global Service,” focused on the potential of artificial intelligence and ways to deploy its advanced solutions in serving the development of societies worldwide and shaping a better future for future generations.

During the session, Al Olama, along with Brad Smith, Vice Chair and President of Microsoft; Ian Bremmer, President and Co-founder of Eurasia Group and GZERO Media; Eva Maydell, member of the European Parliament (EPP Group), President of the European Movement International and speaker for the EU Special Committee on Artificial Intelligence, Amandeep Singh Gill, UN Tech Envoy discussed the potential of artificial intelligence and its ability to achieve positive benefits for the world. The session was moderated by Bianna Golodryga, Anchor and Senior Global Affairs Analyst at CNN.

Al Olama emphasised the importance of building the decision-makers and government leaders capabilities in artificial intelligence and technology, highlighting the need to equip them with the necessary digital skills to ensure its implementation across various sectors, raise awareness of its role in improving performance, and promote efficiency and productivity.


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