Government and business are bedrocks of trust in fostering tech innovation in Saudi Arabia

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Government and business are bedrocks of trust in fostering tech innovation in Saudi Arabia, اليوم الجمعة 5 يوليو 2024 12:01 صباحاً

The Saudi public places a high level of trust in the Kingdom’s government and business sector as the country pursues its innovation journey towardsVision 2030. A large majority of Saudis also trust both government leaders and scientists to manage innovation effectively.

As the 2024 Edelman Trust Barometer shows, the Kingdom is also among the countries where people have the most trust in technology and especially AI regulation.

The annual Edelman Trust Barometer survey has found thatSaudis have a high level of trust (at 86%) in their government, which is the highest rate globally. Saudi Arabia also leads the global survey in the belief that innovation is well managed.

In terms of trust in business, Saudi Arabia is among the global survey leaders — with an impressive 78% of respondents expressing confidence in this institution.

More than 80% of Saudis also place significant trust in government leaders and scientists, who they see as key partners in managing and regulating innovation. Additionally, the Kingdom ranks among the top countries globally for trust in AI regulation (56%), which highlights the country’s strong commitment to fostering and managing technological advancements effectively. These trust levels are significantly higher than in other countries, like the United States (24%), France and Japan (23%), the UK (18%), Germany (27%), and South Korea (28%).

The Edelman Trust Barometer, now in its 24th year, surveys over 32,000 respondents in 28 countries, measuring trust levels across four key institutions: business, government, media, and NGOs.

This year's findings underscore the critical role of innovation in driving economic and social progress. However, while global concerns over the regulation and direction of new technologiesare on the rise, Saudi Arabia stands out with high levels of trust in how innovation is managed by businesses, scientists, and the government.

Globally, there has been a 15% increase in trust that government and business are collaborating well as they foster innovation. Among the 28 countries surveyed, Saudi respondents are among those most likely to believe that their government is competently regulating emerging technologies.

Arent Jan Hesselink, President and CEO of Edelman, EMEA, emphasized the importance of clear communication: "Innovation is the protagonist of our annual Trust Barometer study this year. The public needs assurance that emerging technologies from business have been evaluated by scientists and effectively regulated by government. People need to understand and feel in control over the impact of technological innovations in their lives."

The Edelman Trust Barometer also indicates high levels of trust in green energy and AI within the Kingdom, which are crucial elements of Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030. The country ranks higher than the global average for confidence that AI is effectively regulated and has a high trust level of 68% in companies operating in the Virtual/Augmented Reality space, compared to the global average of 50%.

Elie Azzi, General Manager at Edelman KSA, said: "Guided by high levels of public trust and the Kingdom's solid confidence in government and their leadership in the transformative objectives of Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030, there is a real opportunity to demonstrate innovation's deep impact on both the economy and society. It's important for the Kingdom to continue to demonstrate through communications and storytelling that innovation will bring us a better future."

“Saudi Arabia's proactive approach to innovation and a strong regulatory framework have resulted in a high level of trust in new technologies. This trust is crucial as the Kingdom advances towards its Vision 2030 and demonstrates how effective management and clear communication of technological advancements can result in widespread public support that drives economic growth”, Azzi commented.

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