The prosperity and progress of people dwelling beside the Mediterranean Sea and the Gulf of Arabia have been intertwined for more than 6,000 years. Through the centuries, trade and the presence of global powers have created a vast cultural and economic melting pot. Today, a shared heritage underpins massive flows of goods, investment and people. And a process of renewal and convergence is underway, as countries restore connections and rebuild historic strengths. The region known as The Middle East, North Africa (MENA) is composed of 17 countries, speaking 20 languages with a population of over 411,000,000. The area is composed of some of the highest GDP’s in the world. With the quest to diversify from the dependence on oil and gas reserves to fuel the economies, opportunities for US associations are extensive.
Business services (IT, customer and business process centers) come out as the most dynamic market segment accounting for 12% to 17% of projects in all subregions. Moreover, the digital economy (ICT services and software development) emerges as another strong driver of investment across the region,
reflecting both the development of its industrial and consumer markets, and the increasing availability of a skilled workforce. Financial services (banking, trading and insurance) have also become a pillar of greenfield investment, particularly toward the Gulf, Middle East and North African areas (12% of projects). Process industries remain a strong magnet for FDI as the chemicals, machinery and electronics sectors appear to have a good hold in the Middle East.
International investors are looking for new market opportunities everywhere in the region. New sales and marketing operations capture the largest share of investment in four of the five subregions, where they account for 40% to 50% of respective new investments. In addition, many companies have established manufacturing operations to serve rapid-growth economies of the region and mature European markets. Business support services draw almost a quarter of FDI each in North Africa, the Middle East and the GCC region, as multinationals and outsourcers established more and more nearshore back offices.
Attend a Special Briefing & Panel June 7 and 15
If your association is considering expanding into MENA, then you will not want to miss Doing Business in MENA panel discussion and luncheon on:
June 7 in Chicago, IL (HQ of American Association of Diabetes Educators)
June 15 in Washington DC (HQ of Biotechnology Innovation Organization)