Considering GM’s 100-year history and where we will be in the next century, emerging markets are the driver of growth in the automotive industry. Currently, over 60% of our sales are completed outside of North America, and going forward we seek to further strengthen our position in the Middle East. The Middle East is set to grow faster than most regions in the world over the next decade. We are forecasting that total industry vehicles sales in the Middle East will grow from about 1.15 million units in 2011 to 2.1 million units by the end of the decade—reflecting approximately 85% growth. This would make the Middle East one of the world’s fastest growing automotive markets outside the BRIC countries of Brazil, Russia, India, and China. This is due to the positive economic outlook for the region, particularly due to strengthening oil prices, and favorable demographics. Educational levels are increasing, the middle class is expanding, and about 60% of the population is under the age of 25. These elements are very beneficial for the automobile business. Many consumers are buying their first car, and a variety of others are upgrading to larger and more expensive vehicles. With our portfolio of brands and models, we are able to sell vehicles to meet all these needs and wants—from entry-level to luxury cars. GM’s portfolio in the Middle East reflects that with Chevrolet, GMC, and Cadillac all positioned for growth.
NABIL A. HABAYEB
GE has been in the region for over 80 years. We started operations by supporting the oil and gas sector in power generation. People know us as what we used to be, an appliance company. There is a lot that the Middle East region has had to offer, particularly Dubai. Over the years we have found new ways to strengthen our relationships and partnerships. Just look at the region’s growth—over the last 30 years, Dubai has transformed dramatically. Though it has limited natural resources, the city wanted to monetize these resources for infrastructure development. First, Dubai built a very strong infrastructure network to help improve people’s lives with electricity, clean water, and transportation systems. Second, Dubai used this monetization to build good healthcare and education systems. Third, Dubai knew that its energy resources were limited, and it wanted to diversify its economy industrially. Finally, Dubai wanted to stimulate tourism by offering many support systems. GE also has strong business functions as an oil and gas company, and we were in a position to help monetize the region’s natural resources. We’re a power generation company, a water company, and a transportation company with aviation and even rail. We’re also a healthcare company. Dubai’s vision and what GE has to offer matches perfectly. That’s why we increased our presence to suit the region’s needs.
We have been in the region for more than 50 years, and we truly believe in the potential of Dubai and the UAE as a market, and even more as a regional hub for Philips in the Middle East. We manage 14 countries from our regional headquarters in Dubai, focused on diversified businesses such as health care, consumer lifestyle, and lighting. We also see Dubai as a gateway to expansion into other parts of the region, as the Emirate enjoys a neutral position, representing “the Switzerland” of the Middle East. It is also well equipped to serve different areas. The Emirate is progressive and innovative in its approach to business and growth. This attracts companies such as Philips, which centers its efforts on meaningful innovation. We also have regional hubs in Beirut, Riyadh, and Istanbul. These bases all fall under the umbrella of Dubai. At its core, Philips is focused on innovation, and Dubai offers the perfect combination of innovation and location, aligned with development in the region and the UAE. Dubai is very adept at embracing innovative approaches. The healthcare system works toward the application of the latest technology and the sharing of knowledge. For example, the Saudi German Hospital, a recently built leading hospital in Dubai, is a facility that is fully equipped with Philips’ technology and innovations. We bring in our global knowledge and experience.
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