I recently attended a lunch between a Board Member of one of Germany’s largest industrial companies and a member of the Royal Family from an emerging destination in the Gulf Region. The message that the corporate leader was telling was pretty straight forward: The GCC is a hot spot for future investments and localization is the name of the game. Businesses are attracted by a positive outlook for a dynamic economy and a growing consumer market driven by a young population and emergent middle class. Its growing presence as the gateway between East and West is accelerating its importance as a platform for all industries to trade and do business.
Government leaders in the region have long realized the necessity to diversify the economic structure in a bid to reduce or even replace the reliance on Oil & Gas income which resulted in diverse “Visions” that are now being realized. Foreign technologies and know-how are playing a key role for their implementation. Next to the established Global Hub of Dubai, it is destinations like Bahrain, Abu Dhabi, Ras Al Khaimah that are accelerating to ramp up their activities to attract foreign investments and position themselves to benefit from new FDI inflows.
The prospects for the Region not only drive Investments by large corporates, small and mid-sized companies are increasingly seeking trade & investment opportunities. Exports from Germany to GCC countries have increased by almost 40% since 2012. Dubai has gained significant market share as a hub for trade shows such as Arab Health and the Dubai Airshow, which are now global industry events that gather companies from across the world.
OCO has been doing business in the Middle East for many years – by supporting locations to attract FDI as well as supporting companies developing exports. We are continuing to commit to the success of the region by building out our capacities to support Trade & Investment in the Middle East.