Wednesday 26 January 2022

German business group sees growth opportunities in the GCC

DUBAI, December 6, 2021

German companies are optimistic about their growth prospects in the Gulf region, as key government leaders and business executives from Germany and the GCC countries attended a top-level conference in Dubai recently.
With a combined population of about 55 million and a total GDP of more than $1.65 trillion, the GCC offers tremendous potential for German companies, delegates of the Gulf Future Conference held at the Jumeirah Emirates Towers were told in the presence of UAE Minister of State for Advanced Technology Sarah Bint Yousif Al Amiri, who discussed economic and trade opportunities during her speech at the opening session of the biannual meet.
“For the German economy, the United Arab Emirates and the rest of the GCC are not only important markets, but enormous partners in this part of the world – a relationship that goes beyond trade," said Ralf Wintergerst, Chairman of the North Africa Middle East Initiative of German Business, NMI, an organisation dedicated to fostering bilateral business ties between Germany and the MENA region. 
"Together with their local partner companies, German firms work together deep into the value chain – for example in the areas of research and innovation, the energy transition or digitisation,” he added. 
According to Wintergerst, who also sits as Group CEO and Chairman of the Management Board of Giesecke+Devrient, German companies must be enabled to operate freely in the MENA region and to successfully engage in business on an equal footing with partners and competitors. 
“Against the backdrop of pandemic-related production losses, nearshoring of supply and value chains is one of the current strategic considerations of many companies. Due to their geographical proximity, countries in the MENA region can benefit from this and thus advance their industrialisation. In order for German companies to relocate individual production steps or entire productions, they need suitable framework conditions and financial incentives,” he added.
With an export volume of $18.4 billion in 2020, the region is the seventh largest export destination for German industry outside Europe. In Saudi Arabia and the UAE alone, an estimated 1,250 German companies are represented by their own branches, according to a statement.
Hosted by NMI, the Gulf Future Conference aims to provide a platform for dialogue between business and political leaders from the MENA region and Germany. It is being held under the patronage of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs. This year’s edition is organised by the German Emirati Joint Council for Industry and Commerce (AHK) in Dubai.
Among the topics discussed at the conference include Europe´s Energy Transition and its impact on the Gulf Countries, Resiliency of Supply Chains and New Business Models and Challenges for the Public Sector in the Digital Future.
“The NMI Gulf Conference is a great opportunity to engage with business and political leaders on digital transformation. The Gulf region is leading the way in developing smarter, more connected cities. The innovation and agility that has driven the Smart Dubai project, for example, can serve as a blueprint for other regions of the world,” said Bernd Gross, CTO der Software AG.-TradeArabia News Service


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