Greece, Saudi Arabia ‘To Build Europe-Asia Data Link’

Greece and Saudi Arabia reportedly agree to collaborate on 800m euro land and subsea cable creating data link from Italy to Singapore

Greece and Saudi Arabia are to lay a fibre-optic land and subsea data cable linking Europe with Asia under a pact agreed Tuesday, according to a report.

The main terms of the deal were agreed on Tuesday, Reuters reported, at a time when Saudi officials and business leaders are in Greece for a Greek-Saudi business forum and the fifth annual Greek-Saudi Arabian Joint Interministerial Committee.

The “East to Med Data Corridor” is to be developed by Saudi Telecom Company’s (STC) MENA Hub and co-owned by STC and Greek telecoms and satellite applications firm TTSA, the report said, citing an unnamed Greek diplomat.

Greek power utility company Public Power Company (PPC) and Cyprus telecoms operator CYTA are also reportedly to hold a stake in the project, pending final corporate approvals.

Are You A Kinetic Technology Leader?Italy to Singapore

The deal is expected to be finalised by July, with work to begin this autumn and the project completed by the end of 2025, the report said.

Another source reportedly said the cable would cost about 800 million euros (£681m) and would create a link from Italy to Singapore.

The Greek government has made digital projects a priority since coming to power in 2019, a year after Greece received the final loan from European creditors in the biggest financial bailout in history.

A large portion of about 30bn euros in grants and low-cost loans allocated to Greece from the EU’s post-pandemic Recoery Fund are to be spent on 5G and fibre-optic infrastructure.

Addressing the Greek-Saudi Business Forum on Monday, development and investments minister Adonis Georgiadis said Greece and Saudi Arabia could join forces to become a “digital hub”.

‘Digital hub’

“We can become, Greece on the one hand and the kingdom of Saudi Arabia on the other, an interconnected digital hub for the exchange of data and information,” Georgiadis said. “This is our vision for the future.”

He said Greece is one of the fastest-growing data centre markets in southern Europe rising from almost nothing when the government came to power.

He said Pfizer, Digital Realty, Microsoft, Amazon Web Services, Google, Meta and other tech giants are setting up data centres in the country due to its “geopolitical position, political stability and high-level workforce”.