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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - RIYADH: Saudi Arabia is seeing steady growth in e-commerce businesses, with the total number of registered firms touching 36,330 in the third quarter of 2023 — an annual rise of 12 percent.
The latest data released by the Minister of Commerce also showed that Riyadh topped the list with 14,497 registrations, followed by Makkah at 9,275, and the Eastern Province at 5,866.
As for the Madinah and Qasim regions, the e-commerce registrations stood at 1,792 and 1,222 respectively.
This growth in registrations is primarily attributed to the emergence of technology-driven sectors, including fintech, telemedicine, and custom software development.
It underscores the sector’s pivotal role in bolstering the national economy, with Saudi Arabia ranking among the top 10 countries globally in e-commerce growth.
The ministry’s bulletin also revealed that the number of firms registered in the electronic games development sector rose 56 percent by the end of the third quarter of the year when compared to the same period in 2022, to reach 2,803.
Riyadh topped the list with 1,613 registrations, followed by Makkah at 622, and the Eastern Province at 322. Madinah and Asir regions stood at 98 and 42 respectively.
In August, speaking at a panel discussion during the Next World Forum in Riyadh, Saudi Esports Federation Chairman Prince Faisal bin Bandar said the Kingdom’s population is passionate about gaming and, if utilized wisely, they can transform this into a prolific career path.
His comments underlined how esports is swiftly shifting from a casual pastime to a professional industry in the Kingdom.
With regards to the telecare and telemedicine centers, registrations jumped by 33 percent year on year in the third quarter to reach 757.
Riyadh came first with 404 registrations, followed by Makkah at 190, and the Eastern Province at 66. Madinah’s figure was 29, with Qassim posting 15.
In terms of the fintech solutions sector, the number of companies registered in Saudi Arabia during the third quarter climbed 21 percent in comparison to the corresponding period a year ago to reach 2,831.
Riyadh was in the lead with 1,707 registrations, followed by Makkah at 588, and the Eastern Province at 297. As for Madinah and Qassim regions, the numbers stood at 84 and 44 respectively.
Saudi Arabia is in the midst of a fintech boom with the number of companies operating in the sector more than doubling already this year compared to the end of 2022, the Kingdom’s central bank chief revealed in September.
Ayman Al-Sayari, governor of the Saudi Central Bank, also known as SAMA, said at the time that, as of August 2023, over 200 of these firms were present in the economy — up from 89 in 2022.
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