To partner IT firms for eGovernance projects

Our Bureau

Hyderabad, Aug. 15

The Emirate of Ras Al-Khaimah, based in the United Arab Emirates, has invited inward investments into its free trade zone. It plans to partner with Indian companies for various eGovernance projects back home.

With upgraded seaport and airport, RAK, which recently set up a new airliner, plans to explore the possibility of flights to India depending upon the traffic potential.

Serve as a hub

The Advisor to the Government on Information Technology for Ras Al-Khaimah, Dr Hashem Ar-Rafaei, said that the RAK Free Trade Zone hosts over 1,800 companies in the areas such as pharmaceuticals and other manufacturing units, and the emirate has emerged as another centre for trade and tourism.

Given the huge infrastructure it has created over the years, and proximity to other major trading centres such as Dubai, RAK could potentially serve as a hub for companies locating their centres, he said.

A delegation headed by Dr Ar-Refaei, and representatives from the RAK local administration is on an India tour to meet technology companies both to work on some of their projects and also invite them to set up centres in RAK. Given the opportunities for mutual cooperation, RAK could also explore the possibility of investments in India.

RAK is working on a host of eGovernance projects for better citizen interface leveraging IT. They are in the process of finalising eGovernance projects, including applications in the areas of geographical information systems, satellite imagery and geographical positioning system for local administration.

Ties up with Navayuga Info

Since this calls for technology partners, RAK has provided a pilot eGovernance project for GIS and photogrammetry applications to the Hyderabad-based Navayuga Infotech. The project would be completed before the end of this year and they plan to step up the project covering other applications.

The RAK Government is developing a portal that would provide a single-point interface for people and also allow them to learn and partner with the emirate.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated August 16, 2006)
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